Giovani Lo Celso wins over Spurs supporters and lays foundation for big second season

By James Forster

The 2019/20 season wasn’t the smoothest for Argentine midfielder Giovani Lo Celso.

Brought in at the end of the English transfer window, the 24-year-old not only had to acclimatise to life in England’s capital but was also tasked with proving himself to two top-class managers (first in compatriot Mauricio Pochettino, and subsequently Jose Mourinho).

There was also a fanbase hungry for more after reaching the Champions League final and while Spurs were unable to kick on from that agonising defeat to Liverpool, Lo Celso’s tenacity and drive has endeared himself to the Tottenham faithful. Supporters appreciative of his work-rate, eye for a pass and attitude that underpins his on field persona.

When Mourinho was first appointed after the sacking of Pochettino, many doubted that he would persevere with Lo Celso and that he wasn’t his kind of player, and, after the first couple of games under the Portugese manager, it seemed that those predictions would come true.

However, Lo Celso’s before mentioned tenacious attitude has won Mourinho over, who spoke just recently to the British press that he wouldn’t swap Giovani for any player: high praise from a manager who is not afraid to criticise his player’s shortcomings (just look at Tanguy Ndombele).

“I came to the club and he wasn’t playing. I think the only match he started was Red Star Belgrade away in the Champions League – apart from that he was not playing.

“When I arrived I went in other directions and he did exactly what I love a player to do: ‘I’m going to show you’.”

For a player to win the fans over in England, rarely is technical brilliance solely enough. They must be seen to fight for the badge and ‘get’ the derbies. Lo Celso has done that in abundance and has set himself a fantastic foundation to build on in his career in North London.

The hope now from the Tottenham faithful is that El Monito can produce the goals and assists that he did so brilliantly for Real Betis before joining. If he replicate that for Tottenham Hotspur, the North London Club will have a true Argentine gem on their hands.

The final two games of the season saw Lo Celso contribute tidy assists in both. Now, backed by Mourinho, the hope is that those contributions will become ever more fluent in his second season. A relationship seems to be forming with Spurs talisman Harry Kane too, which could prove to be ruthless in the Premier League and Europe next season.

With Europa League secured and a full pre-season to come under Mourinho, everyone’s prediction at Spurs is that Gio will continue to develop and realise his potential at a club with a proud array of Argentine players over the years.

The foundation has been built; the man spurred on by his Argentine tenacity and flair understands the English way of playing; the fans are behind him and now we will see Lo Celso continue to shine in the Premier League, and hopefully become a leading player for his country in the future.

Tottenham supporter James can be found on Twitter here (@TheJamesForster)so give him a follow.