Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Giovani Lo Celso has suffered an injury setback ahead of the Europa League clash against Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday night.
The Spurs midfielder returned to training ahead of the Premier League game against Crystal Palace at the weekend, with Mourinho suggesting that while he had an “opportunity” to make it in time for the Eagles, he was more likely to be in contention for the game against Zagreb.
However, speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the clash tonight, the Spurs boss has now revealed: “Gio is not ready but it’s nothing to do with his previous important injury, from which he’s totally recovered.
“But with his accumulation of work, his feelings are not the best at the moment, a little bit of some back pain so he’s had to stop working the way he was doing. So not for this match.”
It’s fair to say it’s been a strange old campaign for the midfielder, with numerous injuries and niggles restricting the £31.5m-rated gem to just 11 Premier League appearances amounting to only 436 minutes of action – frustratingly for both manager and player, he’s completed the full 90 minutes in just two games all year.
Just last season, Lo Celso’s Spurs teammate Harry Winks waxed lyrical about the Argentine’s ability, saying: “It took him a while to get used to all the intensity and the aggression of the league but he’s flying now and he’s been fantastic.
“He is a technically gifted player. But he is not afraid to get stuck in when he needs to as well.”
Sadly for both him and Spurs, things just haven’t quite panned out as they would have wanted this time around.
Lo Celso’s latest setback will surely just add to Mourinho’s concerns and worries over the midfielder – there’s nothing more frustrating than having an injury-prone player who continues=s to break down just when you think they’re ready to be welcomed back into the fold.
With the north London derby on Sunday against Arsenal, there was every chance that Lo Celso could well have played a part, or even started against Zagreb tonight in order to perhaps rest some of the Lilywhites’ other key stars who have had a busy few weeks.
Instead, Mourinho will be forced into sticking to a familiar eleven, and Lo Celso, who he likely thought was going to be ready to feature tonight, has now just added to his worries.