Today certainly has been a day of Good Tottenham Hotspur Feels.™ Tottenham romped to a comprehensive victory over Wolfsberger AC in the Europa League, Dele scored a spectacular overhead goal the likes of which we haven’t seen since THAT goal against Crystal Palace, and three teenage academy players got to see the pitch, two of them for their debuts.
So let’s keep the positivity train moving! Most of you have seen the photos of Giovani Lo Celso in Tottenham’s training sessions over the past couple of days, and now Spurs manager Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Lo Celso is back with the rest of the first team squad. Mourinho said, in his post-match comments, that Lo Celso is working on his fitness and should be ready to go in a couple of weeks, just in time for the North London Derby.
“Gio is not coming back [to the pitch], but coming back to training with the team, which is a big step and a very important one. Even today he was training for the first time, of course, with lots of protection in relation to what he could or could not do.
“But that beautiful relationship between Gio and the ball is magnificent, so it’s good news. It’s maybe a couple of weeks to play, but let’s say if everything goes well, we are on the countdown.”
Having Lo Celso back for the next stretch of matches after Arsenal would be a huge boost to Spurs’ attacking options. It’s been something of a lost season for Gio, but while he was a rotation option with Tanguy Ndombele early in the season, Tanguy’s positional move to the eight potentially opens up a slot for to play in front of him (and even — gasp — at the same time).
Naturally, the position isn’t automatically his. Now that Dele is, apparently, back in Mourinho’s good graces Gio have to compete with players like Dele and Erik Lamela for Premier League minutes. But Spurs didn’t drop that much money on Gio to sit him on the bench, and if nothing else a healthy Gio gives Mourinho additional options, and hopefully a means to rest and rotate players as they continue through the rest of the season.
At his best, Gio is a dynamic playmaker and a goal scorer. We haven’t seen that this season yet, really. Now that he’s close to being healthy, maybe we’ll see it in Tottenham’s stretch run.