Opinion: Giovani Lo Celso – The man to fill Christian Eriksen’s boots and beyond

Image: SpursWeb

It is now official, Eriksen has left the building and Giovani Lo Celso has joined permanently until 2025!

In the last month, the rise of a certain Argentinian has been adored by many at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Giovani Lo Celso has really asserted himself since the festive period. I am delighted to see this finally being recognised by Jose Mourinho.

Lo Celso arrived in Europe in 2016. He came to Paris Sant-Germain as an Argentina Under-21 international. However, in his three-year spell at the French capital, appearances were hard to come by, making a total of just 47 (TransferMarkt).

Despite this, Lo Celso still had an impact at PSG. Overall, he won a total of six domestic trophies. In addition to this, Lo Celso scored the clinching goal in the French Cup Final of 2018, where PSG defeated Les Herbiers VF 2-0 (TransferMarkt). But for me, his most notable moment in a PSG shirt was his audacious chipped goal against Lille in a 3-0 victory.

In 2018, Giovani Lo Celso moved to Real Betis on loan. The Argentine made his mark in Spain, which ultimately resulted in a move to North London. In 46 appearances for the club, Lo Celso scored 17 goals (TransferMarkt).

Some of Lo Celso’s best moments in a green and white shirt came in the UEFA Europa League, where the midfielder helped the Spanish club defeat Italian giants AC Milan at the San Siro, scoring wonderful goals both away from home and in the return fixture in Betis.

His form at Real Betis had earned himself regular call ups into the Argentina squad (TransferMarkt). Giovani Lo Celso featured regularly in the 2019 Copa America. Argentina were to finish third in the tournament, after losing to Brazil in the semi-finals.

However, the Real Betis career was short-lived, as Tottenham came calling for the midfielder on deadline day of the 2019 transfer window. It is believed that the club had tracked the playmaker for the majority of the summer. Lo Celso came on to make his debut in the 2-2 draw against Manchester City back in August (TransferMarkt).

A serious hip injury whilst playing for Argentina in a friendly meant that Lo Celso didn’t really have an impact under his fellow countryman, Mauricio Pochettino (TransferMarkt).

For me, one of the downfalls in the closing stages of the Pochettino era was his failure to introduce the new signing regularly upon his return from injury. Lo Celso would often have to settle for just a few minutes off the bench, as an unmotivated Christian Eriksen and an out of form Dele Alli were preferred.

I have to admit, I was worried that Lo Celso wouldn’t make it at Tottenham Hotspur. Even when Jose Mourinho came in, the midfielder was either overlooked or didn’t make enough of an impact. But, over the festive period, I was fortunate enough to be proved wrong!

It first stood out to me in the comeback against Brighton, where Lo Celso had a real impact coming off the bench. He was regularly winning the ball high up the pitch and always looking to create.

In the last few weeks, I thoroughly believe Lo Celso has been our best player. It hasn’t been the best of times to be a Tottenham fan recently, but for me, Lo Celso has been a shining light. We just need to overlook the miss against Liverpool! However, against the champions-elect, Lo Celso was one of the stand out players on the pitch.

Performances against Norwich City and Southampton have really shown his influence. In what was overall a poor performance by the side against Norwich, Lo Celso was an exception. He was everywhere! Once again creating chances from deep and not being afraid to put a challenge in. Dare I say it, the performance was something we had been accustomed to from Christian Eriksen.

Lo Celso was once again named man of the match in the FA Cup stalemate away at Southampton, having a massive influence in the goal to create a chance for Heung-Min Son.

I was delighted to hear that we will be making the option of making the transfer a permanent one. A testament to how Lo Celso has been vital in recent weeks.

To conclude, I just want to point out that we are yet to see a partnership of Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele in full force. My excitement to see such a midfield is unbearable.

Lo Celso looks to be capable of filling Eriksen’s boots and then some, but there is a long way to go for the Argentine to create the memories that the Great Dane managed.

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