Jose Mourinho received a huge boost ahead of Tottenham Hotspur’s Europa League clash tonight …
What’s the latest?
Speaking ahead of their second round meeting with Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb, the Spurs boss revealed that Giovani Lo Celso has returned to the squad for the first time since December 20.
He said, via the Evening Standard:
“Of course, we missed him for a long time. I don’t think he has 90 minutes to go but he looked very confident in those three sessions he did with the team on Monday, Tuesday, [and] Wednesday, so I don’t feel any limitation with him.
“The team needs him because he is a quality player and he is also very competitive.”
Lo Celso he returns directly to the XI of Spurs?
The 24-year-old had missed 22 matches in all competitions after suffering a hamstring problem in Spurs’ 2-0 loss to Leicester City three months ago.
Will he be present?
Based on Mourinho’s comments above, there must be a real chance that the £ 27million-valued dynamo will return to action tonight – whether from the outside or from the bench, he remains. a lot to see.
Spurs’ form in his absence has been very difficult.
Five league losses in six matches in the space of a month had, according to the Telegraph’s Matt Law, put immense pressure on Mourinho, but things had turned a corner ahead of the North London derby on Sunday when they had won three consecutive victories.
Likewise, the Lilywhites continued to deliver in tonight’s competition, seeing Wolfsberger AC with ease in the final round. And they enter tonight’s game with a two-goal lead thanks to a brace from Harry Kane.
That said, Mourinho has always missed the Argentine’s influence from the attacking midfielder and as he says his competitive nature is sure to fire a rocket at some of his underachieving rivals.
Only three other Spurs stars have more expected assists (xA) every 90 minutes this season, with Lo Celso sitting 0.21 closely behind Kane (0.3), Heung-min Son (0.27) and Serge Aurier (0.23), according to Comprendre.
This clearly shows that Lo Celso is among Mourinho’s most creative options, and this is reinforced by the number of key assists he has produced in the Premier League this quarter.
The £ 70,000 a week maestro manages 1.9 successful attempts every 90 minutes, which is one second behind Son (two), and is equal to or better than No.10’s, Dele Alli, Tanguy Ndombele and Lucas Moura, via WhoScored.
If Lo Celso is to be involved tonight then a 60 minute race here will be much more beneficial than risking him in the top flight.
They’ve been careful enough to level him up, so the fact that he’s in the squad tonight suggests he will indeed feature, and that should appeal to a lot of N17s.
AND in other news, Mourinho is due to be a game-changer of £ 26million at Dinamo Zagreb tonight …