Tottenham don’t need to panic about wantaway midfielder

If Giovani Lo Celso does want to leave Tottenham in December then Spurs shouldn’t stand in his way. He’s talented, but far from irreplaceable. 

When Tottenham clinched the deal to sign Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis it appeared that he was going to ultimately take over as the club’s starting No. 10. Now that Dele Alli has seized that role under new manager Jose Mourinho, it’s easy to see how the talented Argentine might be surplus to requirements at Spurs.

As such, it shouldn’t be any surprise that Marca is reporting that Lo Celso may want to leave North London in January. He certainly hasn’t gotten as much game time as he envisioned with leaving La Liga. The 23-year-old midfielder has only played 155 minutes in the Premier League to date. That’s a far cry from the prominent role he enjoyed at Real Betis.

In fairness, injury prevented Lo Celso from hitting the ground running under Mauricio Pochettino. Even so, he was tipped for big things by Tottenham’s former manager. Whenever there’s a change in leadership at a club it’s likely some players are going to be forced to move away. Lo Celso could be a casualty of the managerial change at Spurs.

From a talent perspective, it would be a blow for Tottenham. There’s no question that Lo Celso has the ability to be an above average Premier League midfielder. His best position is playing in a three-man midfield on the left. The chances of Mourinho employing that kind of formation are rather slim.

The next best play to deploy Lo Celso would be as a No. 1o. Dele Alli’s recent play in that position eliminates the need for another high-priced option. Dele has asserted himself as Christin Eriksen’s heir in just three games under Mourinho. Pundits and coaches all across Europe are now conveniently piping up to say just how obvious it is that his best position is located just behind Harry Kane.

That leaves Lo Celso as a man without a real role at Tottenham. there are worse things that can happen to Spurs than him going back to Real Betis in January. That decision would free up a sizable chunk of transfer cash for Mourinho to spend on a player better equipped to impact his starting XI. In particular, Spurs could use that money to solidify their defensive midfield or back line when the January transfer window opens.

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No Tottenham fan should be wishing Lo Celso away, but losing him in January would not be catastrophic. The club are in a much different position than they were when he arrived. It’s possible he and Tottenham can find better fits elsewhere. Spurs can benefit from any decision they make regarding the talented Argentine in January.