Antonio Conte could be dealt a major injury blow ahead of Tottenham Hotspur’s clash with Leeds United this afternoon…
The Italian head coach will be sweating on the fitness of Giovani Lo Celso after the Argentina midfielder returned from international duty a little worse for wear.
“Giovani Lo Celso did not come back perfect physically,” revealed the Italian to reporters (via football.london).
“I do not know about him if he will be available. For sure [Cristian] Romero is not available, Lo Celso I don’t know. The rest of the team, we have all the players.”
If the 25-year-old maestro is missing, then Conte will be hugely concerned heading into kickoff as he is already without Oliver Skipp, who is suspended for this clash, whilst fellow engine room enforcer Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg missed Denmark’s matches through injury.
To be without another middle man would be a massive blow as it leaves the 52-year-old with a plethora of out-of-favour stars in Harry Winks and Dele Alli to choose from.
Lo Celso, who is valued at €30m (£25m) by CIES Football Observatory, has only appeared from the bench in the two games under Conte, playing a total of 22 minutes but he could emerge as a key player for him in the future.
Not only is he capable of playing that inside-forward role behind Harry Kane but he is also one of the more creative players in the squad, even if he’s a little frustrating with his end product at times, having managed only eight goals and five assists since his arrival in summer 2019.
As per WhoScored, he leads the way for key passes per 90 (2.1), which is more than Heung-min Son (1.9), Lucas Moura (1.3) and last season’s assist king, Kane (0.9), too.
The Argentine playmaker was once dubbed “phenomenal” and backed to prove his worth to the team by former Spurs boss Jose Mourinho.
Having him available would make Conte’s team selection a whole lot easier, so if he is indeed absent, then the Italian could well be left gutted, even more so after already suffering a huge blow to Cristian Romero as well.
AND in other news, Fabrizio Romano drops huge Dele Alli claim at Spurs…