Giovani Lo Celso was snubbed from Tottenham Hotspur’s starting XI once again at the weekend.
It would have been hardly a surprise considering that the Argentina midfielder only returned to this country a day before the trip to St James’ Park to face Newcastle United, but fellow countryman Cristian Romero started, as did Brazil international Emerson Royal.
All three had been on national team duties during the break and played as recently as Thursday and into the early hours of Friday, but it is rather telling that Nuno Santo trusted the latter two to start but not the attacking maestro.
Lo Celso has started just one of his four Premier League appearances, and in that game against Chelsea, he struggled to last much past the hour mark, whilst he did not even come off the bench on Sunday, thus highlighting his struggles under Nuno thus far.
His chances of earning a regular spot in the top-flight appear to be getting slimmer and slimmer, particularly after Tanguy Ndombele’s fine performance up in the northeast.
As explained by The Evening Standard’s Dan Kilpatrick, the French midfielder ‘thrived’ in the 3-1 victory and earned the joint-highest rating in his post-game column.
‘Scored a sumptuous strike to drag Spurs back into the game and looked like a proper No.10. Full of nice touches, flicks and skills, including in the build-up to Son’s goal, and was livelier than usual out of possession,’ the reporter wrote.
This spells trouble for Lo Celso as he will now find it even harder to break into the side. That’s a worry for a £55m signing, one who has seen his value plummet since arriving from Real Betis in summer 2019.
Transfermarkt now value him at £19.8m, a shocking 64% decrease in the space of just two-and-a-half seasons. He’s just 25, so that fee should be ever-increasing as he heads towards the peak years of his career.
It’s even more disappointing when you consider the kind of praise he has received during his time in north London.
One figure who must be fuming with the situation is chairman Daniel Levy, as the signing is a mark of his credentials. Usually known as a tough negotiator, the Spurs supremo splashed out a joint club-record fee on a player who has failed to impress much at all in N17.
Indeed, the Argentina international has only contributed eight goals and five assists across 73 appearances, via Transfermarkt.
Levy has endured a nightmare so far with the signing of Lo Celso – the only positive is that the Argentine still has plenty of time to turn around his Spurs career, but whether or not he can very much remains to be seen.
AND in other news, Alasdair Gold drops exciting Spurs transfer claim ahead of January…