Missing from the Spurs’ scoresheet since 2020, and then scoring back to back goals against Villa and City in your first two starts of the season. What a way for Giovani Lo Celso to step back onto the stage.
Tottenham have been reeling amidst a major injury crisis which has seen James Maddison, Rodrigo Bentancur, and Pape Sarr out of action for the foreseeable future, meaning back-up options like Lo Celso have had to step into the starting XI. And boy has he delivered.
Playing alongside Dejuan Kulusevski in Ange Postecoglou’s three-part midfield, Gio has fit in nicely. He’s offered a flair of creativity alongside productive movement on and off the ball, retaining possession but carrying the team forward when Tottenham need it. And of course, taking many many chances on net, just as Ange hopes for.
The Argentine’s performance certainly begs the question, could he compete for starting spots once the injury list shortens?
It’s fair to say that it might be too early to tell. Gio has had to battle loan spells over the better half of three years, and it would be accurate to argue that he’s had greater success at his part-time clubs than in North London.
Of course, it looks like he’ll continue to get playing time for now, with Ange preferring a more attacking minded player over that of Oliver Skipp or Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, especially to fill in for James Maddison who collected three goals and five assists across his 11 appearances before injury.
But, it should be noted that if he can prove to be useful as a backup option for that number 8/ number 10 role over the course of the coming months, Spurs may have to think about keeping him on to rest Madders or Bentancur whenever needed, as opposed to selling him, an idea which has been previously passed around and still may be in circulation. That is, however, perhaps merely for the time being.
Spurs take on West Ham this Thursday as they look to further their momentum after snatching a point at the Etihad last weekend, and Gio will be expected to feature and hopefully continue to make an impact.