As Tottenham Hotspur and manager Antonio Conte cope over a ‘very serious’ injury to defender Cristian Romero, the boss has confirmed that he will also be without midfielder Giovani Lo Celso.
The Lowdown: Spurs injury scares…
Since the September international break, a torrid period for Spurs given the amount of problems suffered by then-manager Nuno Espirito Santo, you could forgive any fan for loathing that time of the calendar.
That period alone saw Oliver Skipp, Ryan Sessegnon, Steven Bergwijn and Son Heung-min return from duty with problems as South American trio Lo Celso, Romero and Davinson Sanchez also had to train in isolation abroad (The Evening Standard).
The last international break in November was just as unlucky for Spurs, with star summer signing and Serie A MVP award-winner Romero returning with a hamstring injury having played for Argentina.
Lo Celso also flew back to north London available, and while Conte continues to sweat over his centre-back, it appears that he will also be without the 25-year-old for the clash against Brentford tonight.
The Latest: Pre-Brentford injury news confirmed…
Speaking to the press, Conte confirmed that he expects Lo Celso back after their clash with the Bees. The Italian explained (via football.london):
“Giovani Lo Celso, like Cristian Romero, they were injured with the national team. For sure it was a pity but Giovani’s situation is much, much better than Romero.”
“My expectation is to see him the day after we play against Brentford. He’s started to work, to work on the pitch. For sure Giovani is another player we need to try to exploit, to exploit him. He’s a good player and now I want to work with him.”
The Verdict: Big miss?
Lo Celso can often turn on the style at international level, as evident by Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni even calling him ‘one of the best‘ in world football. Former Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has also heaped praise on him, branding the former Real Betis and Paris-Saint Germain star a ‘fantastic player’ (Sky Sports).
However, you could make the case that he is yet to fully realise his potential at club level, with Spurs insider John Wenham even branding the player a ‘passenger’ after Lo Celso’s Premier League outing in the regrettable 3-0 defeat to Man United at the end of October (Football Insider).
He is quite clearly a mixed bag with ability on the right given day, but as Conte seeks to guide Spurs back up the Premier League table, the 52-year-old could have used Lo Celso as an option at least.
In other news: Eight players now safe from Spurs axe after impressing Conte behind the scenes, find out more here.
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