‘It’s up to him’ – ESPN pundit thinks new signing’s success at Spurs in his own hands
ESPN FC pundit Steve Nicol has mixed feelings over Tottenham’s transfer business in the summer window despite two deadline day signings – but thinks new arrival Giovani Lo Celso is in full control of his destiny as a Spurs player.
Tottenham added Fulham youngster Ryan Sessegnon to their squad in the final hours of the transfer period, while Lo Celso joined on loan from Real Betis.
While Nicol feels that the success of fellow last-minute recruit Sessegnon at Spurs is dependent on game time, Lo Celso has more of an opportunity to break into the first team and become a regular under compatriot Mauricio Pochettino.
Nicol told ESPN FC: “They’ve signed [Tanguy] Ndombele who I think absolutely goes straight into the middle of the park. For Lo Celso, it’s basically up to him – if he impresses Pochettino straight away, then he may start as well. [Moussa] Sissoko and Harry Winks were the [midfield] two at the end of last season, but I’m not so sure that’s a strong enough partnership.
“As I said, it’s up to him now. He’s in a position to impress Pochettino and get himself in that starting lineup.”
Pochettino often played a system with two central midfielders (per Transfermarkt) last season – so assuming Tanguy Ndombele will slot into one of those considering the amount of money he cost – as Nicol expects – the likes of Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks will likely be Lo Celso’s main competition for a starting place considering their squad list.
When comparing the statistics between the three, the standout difference is Lo Celso’s goal threat. While that may come down to his versatility in occasionally performing an attacking-midfield role, that will surely only improve his prospects of game time and opportunities to impress the manager.
But with Sissoko and Winks offering just one goal between them last season, given the way Spurs struggled for results towards the end of the campaign, installing someone with Lo Celso’s record into the midfield will surely add to Tottenham’s amount of goalscoring outlets throughout the season.
So as Nicol says, it looks like it’s all on Lo Celso to prove his worth.
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