Giovani Lo Celso an exciting addition

Giovani Lo Celso an exciting addition

Lo-Celso- an-exciting-addition
Giovani Lo Celso looks an exciting addition at Tottenham

Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino opted last summer for quality players with most of their career ahead of them but were unable to secure any of them.

Having reached a Champions League final, Spurs now have more kudos, more pull and the same policy has reaped rewards this summer.

In have come four players who fit this profile, 23-year-old (24 next April) Giovani Lo Celso, 22-year-old (23 in December) Tanguy Ndombélé, 19-year-old (20 next May) Ryan Sessegnon and 18-year-old (19 in November) Jack Clarke.

The average age of the players joining Spurs is 20.5 years while the average age of those players leaving Spurs is 30.8 years.

The additions clearly show that despite the misreading of the situation by journalists, Mauricio Pochettino is at the heart of Tottenham's transfer business and the club only buys the players he specifically wants.

As we know he has the final say on who comes in and who goes out and he understands the financial situation so isn't a manager who has unrealistic expectations of the players Spurs might be able to afford to attract.

Centering on one of those purchases, Giovani Lo Celso, what exactly does the youngster bring to Tottenham Hotspur?

Having started at Rosario in Argentina, he was snapped up after one season by PSG for £9m in 2016 who immediately loaned him back until the end of the year to coincide with the South American season.

January 1st 2017 to August 30th 2018 he was at PSG mainly as a defensive midfielder who could pass and carry the ball.

He was loaned out to Real Betis on 31st August 2018 for £2.7m and sold to them for £19.8m on 1 July 2018, before moving o Spurs on transfer deadline day in an initial loan move but with two options, one to buy if Spurs don't reach the Champions League and a compulsory purchase clause if Spurs do reach the Champions League.

A very complicated deal that took all summer to get across the line with Lo Celso being totally set on joining Spurs and no other club so Betis didn't receive alternative offers they could push him towards, which they waited all summer for.

Spurs had midfield problems last season, not through numbers but through the skillset of the players. We were reduced to trying to pass through teams which made us easier to stop.

Our midfield was comprised of players who were either attacking or defensive so we struggled to progress the ball upfield. We had to drop Eriksen deeper which meant he wasn't in the danger zone outside the opposition box enough.

Lo Celso has played a variety of positions, DM, CM, AM, RM, LM, and CF, although more as a false number 9 really. He has played as a CM, LM, and RM in his 18 caps for his country.

He has, therefore, developed a balanced skillset going backward or forward, although he is primarily attack-minded so prefers going forward.

With Real Betis he played as a midfielder or attacker, they played with a back three and at PSG he played as the deepest lying midfielder in front of the back four in a side that controlled possession.

The Spanish side play a possession-based game as well which means he is used to intricate progression up the field rather than long ball passing. They had possession 62.47% only bettered by Barcelona with 64.79% possession. He only played 1.3 long balls per game with all that possession.

He is happy dropping deep to collect the ball of the central defender and progressing through either dribbling, he has high-quality dribbling skills or passing up the field. He was one of the best dribbling central midfielders in LaLiga last season, attempting 4 dribbles per game last, the most in the league.

He is not lightning fast but has respectable pace with excellent close control allowing him to break a press, the key area Spurs had a big problem with last season.

Another attribute is his reading of the game. If Betis needed to control the game, he would act as the metronome, passing and receiving short balls controlling the tempo. He averaged over 50 passes per game with a pass success rate of 82.9% (Eriksen 81%).

He is a player who makes the difference higher up the pitch too. Lo Celso looks to move to the pockets on either side if the central area is congested giving a passing angle to a full-back running behind his man or angled balls to find a striker.

The little Argentinian, who reminds me so much of Lionel Messi with his body shape and the way he passes with his left foot, also possesses a goal threat, he was the leading scorer for Betis last season.

In LaLiga alone he scored 9 goals and had 5 assists, 5 in the Europa League (1 assist) and 2in the Copa del Rey. In total he scored 16 goals and had 6 assists, averaging 2 shots per league game, the 5th highest for LaLiga central midfielders.

He had 64 shots (43% accuracy - Eriksen 34%), only bettered by one player and 33 of those were from outside the area

The Argentinian is comfortable finishing in the box and has a long-range shot in his left foot too so how does he compare to other Spurs midfielders?

In that respect, he'll be OK if Ndombele isn't there to break the initial press and may at times be asked to take that role on himself.

Obviously, he'll need to adjust to the speed and physicality of the Premier League but take a look at some of the dribbling, through balls and composed finishing in this skills video.

League Goals Comparison
Lo Celso 9
Eriksen 8
Sissoko 0
Winks 1
Alli 5
Dier 3

League Assists Comparison
Lo Celso 4
Eriksen 11
Sissoko 3
Winks 0
Alli 3
Dier 0

League Completed Dribbles Comparison

These stats would have had Lo Celso sitting top of the Premier League central midfielders ahead of Pogba, Silva and the rest. He completed 63 dribbles.

Defensively he makes a contribution too.

One aspect he will need to work on and improve are those turnover stats, he lost the ball the 5th highest of the central midfielders in LaLiga last season.

Giovani Lo Celso adds depth to our midfield in both defence and attack, given that he can play in a variety of positions and that affords us the chance to rotate, to rest players, to change formations during a game, have greater attacking options on the field at any one time so the opposition can't just concentrate on stopping Eriksen and allows Pochettino to play with a host of different formations, dependant upon what is best against each individual opponent.

Lo Celso finishes well, he brings others into play well, he uses the ball well and is, in my view, a superb addition to our ranks.

Wanted by Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City, I can't wait to see him in a Spurs shirt.


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  1. Great awareness and close control. Can ride a tackle. Instead of assuming ball's lost when tackled assumes it'll be recoverable and so mostly recovers loose balls after tackles.

    This doesn't show (Can't.) if he's the type of player to hide when things are tough but it certainly illustrates he can be very effective in both directions and isn't afraid of hard work or going one-on-one.

    Very excited to see what he can do in a Spurs shirt - and particularly excited to see how the other players play around him. He'll give them confidence to move around off the ball and make runs. This could see us show up much more often like the second half against Villa rather than the first.

    All-in-all, very exciting new addition.