Unused by Jorge Sampaoli in Russia and deemed surplus to requirements by Thomas Tuchel at Paris Saint-German, Giovani Lo Celso has had a difficult couple of months but the 22-year-old completed a loan switch to Real Betis on Friday and is set to light up LaLiga this season.
Lo Celso arrived in Sevilla this morning and has already put pen to paper on a season-long loan deal with Los Verdiblancos that includes an option to make the move permanent for a figure rumoured to be around €30 million.
“I’m very happy to be at a club with such a great history,” Lo Celso told the club’s official website.
“One of the things that made me come was the club’s project. Any player would get motivated by it.”
📣 OFICIAL | El internacional argentino Giovani Lo Celso, nuevo futbolista del #RealBetis ✍
— Real Betis Balompié (@RealBetis) August 31, 2018
The former Rosario Central playmaker played over 40 times in all competitions under Unai Emery last season as Paris Saint-Germain completed a league and domestic cup treble.
Scoring six goals and registering seven assists, Lo Celso also proved his worth in a deeper midfield role showing a side of his game that had previously gone unnoticed earlier in his career while operating as more of a traditional enganche.
As part of Lionel Scaloni’s new-look Argentina squad for the forthcoming friendlies, Lo Celso is expected to play a central role in a rejuvenated midfield but was in need of regular playing time this season.
With the likes of Adrien Rabiot and Marco Verratti ahead of him, Lassana Diarra arriving last January and even defender Marquinhos being used in midfield, first team opportunities looked slim for Lo Celso this term.
A potential switch to Real Sociedad at one point looked likely but after failing to sign Barcelona midfielder Rafinha, Betis moved quickly for Lo Celso with manager Quique Setién bolstering his squad ahead of a a return to European competition in the Europa League.
Whether or not Betis end up paying the fee to make Lo Celso’s transfer permanent remains to be seen but the midfielder is undoubtedly a superb addition. Gonçalo Guedes proved a huge success on loan at Valencia from PSG last season and after lengthy discussions remained at the Mestalla.
A fee already being set between PSG and Betis reduce those negotiations at the end of the season but if Lo Celso can produce what he is capable of in LaLiga then it wouldn’t be a surprise to never see the Argentinian wear the PSG shirt again.
Lo Celso could make his Betis debut in the derby clash with Sevilla on Sunday.