Giovani Lo Celso made his long-awaited return to action last night as a late substitute for Tottenham Hotspur.
Tottenham thrashed Red Star Belgrade 5-0 and Lo Celso made his comeback on the same night. Both of these factors helped lift the spirit at the club after a few disappointing weeks.
Interestingly, Mauricio Pochettino brought Lo Celso on instead of Christian Eriksen. The Denmark midfielder was left on the bench as Lo Celso entered the field on 11 minutes. But this was the right decision.
Sensible and prudent
Given the Eriksen exit saga, giving Lo Celso the game time instead is the more sensible path. Pochettino needs to think prudentially and Lo Celso is the future of Spurs.
By the end of January, Eriksen could well be gone. He is almost certainly going to leave before the start of next season. Pochettino can build for the future by selecting Lo Celso ahead of Eriksen for the upcoming games.
Players with the right attitude
Pochettino decided to shake things up a bit and only selected players who wanted to be at the club against Red Star. This has been a well-publicised issue with whispers of squad disunity.
Lo Celso only joined in the summer and he will be eager to make an impression in front of the Spurs faithful. Eriksen, on the other hand, clearly doesn’t want to be at Tottenham. Pochettino needs to use his players who have the right attitude.
Lo Celso needs the minutes
Lo Celso’s time in England has been hampered by injuries so far. The Argentina midfielder needs to get slowly up to speed with the English game and short cameos will help him improve his match fitness and get used to the playing style.
In the long-term, Lo Celso is Eriksen’s replacement in North London. This is why Lo Celso’s playing time should be prioritised. He needs to be ready when Eriksen does leave.