Tottenham Hotspur are back in Premier League action this evening as they travel to the Midlands to face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.
Spurs haven’t played in a week due to Sunday’s postponement of the north London derby, whilst it’s been nearly three weeks since the Foxes last kicked a ball competitively.
And Antonio Conte is left with plenty to think about heading into kickoff.
Last time out, his side were knocked out of the Carabao Cup semi-final by his former club Chelsea, just one game away from Wembley. It leaves only the league and FA Cup left to fight for.
Spurs are on the cusp of breaching the top-four, so they could really do with a result tonight. That means the Italian head coach needs to get his team selection spot on, perhaps a little tricky with the number of players he has on the treatment table.
One player he must axe is Giovani Lo Celso, who has underwhelmed in recent appearances.
The Argentina midfielder certainly hasn’t taken his opportunity to impress, failing to perform in both of their recent cup games, including a win over League One minnows Morecambe.
Lo Celso has never really impressed since arriving from Real Betis, managing a direct goal contribution once every 327 minutes.
Once tipped to replace Christian Eriksen in the creative no.10 role, we’re yet to see any sort of similarities between the pair. Back in November, Lilywhites insider John Wenham slammed the attacking midfielder to Football Insider.
“One player I really want to talk about is Lo Celso.
“He came in against Man United which was another baffling decision by Nuno [Santo]. [Tanguy] Ndombele had been playing better than he previously had. He decided very randomly to bring in Lo Celso.
“He was awful and did absolutely nothing. Poor set pieces, poor pass completion, he was an utter passenger,” he said.
Indeed, his outing against the Blues last week was similar – as per SofaScore, he managed only 19 passes despite having 49 touches of the ball, whilst he was dribbled past on three occasions and won just 46% of his 15 midfield duels.
On the evidence above, Lo Celso has no place in Spurs’ starting XI, especially in a game of his magnitude. It’s time for Conte to be bold and ruthless and axe the struggling £25m-rated flop this evening.