As Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen continues to struggle to find his form, Mauricio Pochettino will be ruing his injury luck. Giovani Lo Celso – who was brought in this summer – is not available to replace Eriksen in the starting line-up.
Pochettino was slowly introducing Lo Celso to English football but he picked up an injury on international duty. The Argentina midfielder will now be out until he returns from his hip injury in late October (Spurs’ official website). This has come at the worst time with Eriksen out of sorts.
Eriksen’s form dips
Eriksen produced a poor performance against Olympiacos on Wednesday night, giving away possession 22 times, according to Squawka. The Denmark midfielder has not been at his best since part-way through last season.
It seems there is something else on his mind. Since speculating started to mount surrounding his future, Eriksen’s performances have dropped. But without Lo Celso, Spurs need him to perform the playmaker role.
Lo Celso is Eriksen’s heir
With Eriksen out of contract next summer, many believe that Lo Celso was brought in as his successor. This makes sense with Pochettino slowly getting him used to English football. He probably would have been pushing for starts now if he was still fit.
Lo Celso has the ability to play in that Eriksen role, finding pockets of space and picking passes. This is why it is frustrating for Pochettino, whose plans have been scuppered by Lo Celso’s hip injury.
Big task for Lo Celso from November onwards
Lo Celso returns to training in late October, according to Tottenham’s website. He is undergoing a period of rehabilitation and can probably expect to get back on the pitch in November if things go smoothly.
The 23-year-old will need to hit the ground running when he gets back. Eriksen could leave in January due to his contract situation. And Pochettino might be tempted to fast-track Lo Celso into the first-team regardless of the contract situation if Eriksen’s performances do not pick up.