It’s safe to say that Giovani Lo Celso’s time at Tottenham Hotspur has hardly been inspiring.
After joining in a club record-equaling £55m deal from LaLiga outfit Real Betis in the summer of 2019, his career has been blighted by injuries and inconsistencies.
At the time, the 25-year-old was widely touted as a ready-made replacement for Christian Eriksen, who had entered the final year of his deal before joining Inter Milan later that winter.
If that was the case, then he has certainly failed to live up to the same standards set by the playmaking Dane.
As per Transfermarkt‘s figures, Lo Celso has provided just five assists in 79 appearances, also finding the net eight times. That’s a direct contribution once every 338.5 minutes – nearly once every four outings.
Irrespective of Eriksen’s record, those sorts of returns are quite frankly abysmal, but for context, the former Ajax gem delivered a goal or assist 151.6 minutes across 305 appearances.
The contrast is alarming.
However, the Argentina international, who teammate Cristian Romero solely credits for their Copa America success this summer, could be in line for a lifeline under Antonio Conte as Spurs are crying out for someone capable of providing some much-needed influence in the final third.
Only Norwich City (10.7) have averaged fewer shots per game than the north Londoners (10.9), whilst they rank inside the bottom seven for expected goals, despite being only two points adrift of the top four in the overall standings.
When delving into the deeper numbers, Lo Celso has actually been one of the more creative options this season. He just isn’t getting any results from the service he’s been providing – hardly a surprise when Harry Kane has bagged just the one Premier League goal all season.
As per WhoScored, the Argentine maestro, who Jose Mourinho once lauded as “phenomenal“, has averaged 2.1 key passes per 90 minutes, which currently leads the squad and is even more than Heung-min Son (1.8) and Lucas Moura (1.5).
That would certainly back up the point that the £70k-per-week flop been somewhat unlucky and deserves a run in the side with Spurs struggling so much in the final third.
Given that the English top-flight has barely seen his talents in the past two-and-a-half years, Lo Celso could well emerge as a secret weapon, particularly if he can get someone on the end of the aforementioned service.
AND in other news, Spurs could find their next Mousa Dembele in “complete” £27m-rated “playmaker”…