Tottenham Hotspur have been dealt a fresh injury blow ahead of their upcoming Premier League fixture.
In recent comments cited by Football.London, Antonio Conte revealed that Giovani Lo Celso has suffered a fresh injury setback which looks as if it will rule him out of the trip to Southampton on Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking about the current condition of the 25-year-old, the Tottenham manager said: “It is not a serious injury, after the game against West Ham the players that didn’t play had a little training and in this training, he had a bit of fatigue in his calf but only for precaution we decided to wait, especially in this situation it is important to listen to the player. When you have a problem in your calf only the player can give you the right situation.”
Considering that Lo Celso had only just recovered from a knee injury picked up while on international duty with Argentina towards the start of November, the news that the midfielder has sustained yet another knock during what is undoubtedly the busiest period of the English footballing calendar is sure to come as a huge blow to Conte and will leave the 52-year-old fuming.
Indeed, so far this season, the £19.8m-rated man has started just two Premier League fixtures due to his various fitness concerns, making a further five top-flight appearances off the bench, with only one of those outings coming under the Italian’s management.
However, the current campaign is not the only one in which the £100k-per-week midfielder has been sidelined due to injury, with the 25-year-old managing just 11 Premier League starts last season as a result of a thigh muscle strain, an unspecified muscle injury and a pulled hamstring.
In fact, Lo Celso failed to complete a single 90 minutes in the league last term, being brought off in all 11 of the matches in which he appeared in the starting XI.
As such, while the Argentina international is a talented player who can make a big impact on games (think of his dramatic substitute appearance against Man City last season), Conte may well begin to consider moving the midfielder on at the end of the season should he be unable to keep himself fit for any real length of time. At present, it is debatable whether Lo Celso is proving good value for money on his hefty weekly wage.