Report: Antonio Conte thinks 26-year-old Tottenham player really isn't suited to the Premier League
Antonio Conte thinks Giovani Lo Celso is showing his talent on loan at Villarreal, but is not suited to the Premier League with Tottenham.
Lo Celso is expected to be in the Villarreal starting XI at Anfield in the Champions League semi-finals tonight, playing from the right of midfield.
Spurs having a player operating in such a huge game while their squad scraps for a place in next season’s group stage will draw some attention.
The Evening Standard have lifted the lid somewhat on how Tottenham boss Antonio Conte views the 26-year-old Argentina international
Their report reads: “The Argentine’s turnaround since returning to Spain on January deadline day has not come entirely out of the blue, however, but rather feels like the result of a talented player being back in an environment which suits him.
“This is certainly the view of Spurs boss Antonio Conte, who regards the midfielder as gifted but ill-suited to the intensity and physicality of English football and judged that he needed to be playing regularly back on the continent.
Conte has a point.
“In La Liga and the Champions League, Lo Celso is afforded more time and is said to feel more protected, and therefore more comfortable, than in English football.
“One intriguing hypothetical would be the return of Mauricio Pochettino from Paris Saint-Germain to north London in a job swap with Conte, which has been mooted this week. Lo Celso was signed on Pochettino’s watch and he may be more open to keeping his compatriot than Conte.“
How can Lo Celso be of use to Conte?
Unless Conte changes his mind, it is hard to see how Lo Celso can be reintegrated into the Tottenham midfield while he is the manager.
The Italian demands so much intensity from his midfielders, and being a bigger fish in a smaller pond seems to suit him.
As much as it might seem foolish to sell Lo Celso while Tottenham’s midfield remains in need of creativity, perhaps the way he can be most useful to Conte is by raising funds in the summer.
The report says Villarreal would push for another loan, but Tottenham want to get as much of their initial £55 million back for a player who recently played so well he got a standing ovation for Villarreal and should not be short on suitors come the summer.
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