Ossie Ardiles has backed Giovani Lo Celso to go from ‘strength to strength’ at Tottenham following the midfielder’s impressive recent form for the north London side.
Lo Celso signed for Spurs on a season-long loan deal from Real Betis and while he initially struggled to make an impact in English football amid injury problems, the Argentine has become an increasingly influential player in recent weeks, his move being made permanent during the January window.
Spurs legend Ardiles – who won the World Cup with Argentina in 1978 – has been monitoring the progress of his compatriot closely and has spoken of his pride at Lo Celso’s recent showings, backing the 23-year-old to continue growing in importance as he adapts to the demands of the Premier League.
“The first thing I’d like to say about Giovani is that I’m very proud of him,” Ardiles told Spurs’ official website. “I started to notice him when he came through to the international team two years ago. In fact, not only me, but a lot of people started to notice him.
“Suddenly, when he came here to Spurs, he had one of the worst things that can happen to you as a footballer when you first arrive in a new club – he got injured. In fact, he was injured against Chile in September, a terrible tackle. So, he arrived at a new club in Tottenham, wanted to play, wanted to do well but he couldn’t because of that injury, so it wasn’t the most auspicious of starts.
“However, he started to play more regularly and, immediately, he made an impact. He’s a very sensible player, he knows what he’s doing all the time, he’s clever and so on. Little by little, I have to say, he’s adapted to the pace of the game here extremely well. Right now, it doesn’t look like he has any problems with that at all.
“He can play in a number of positions in midfield, sometimes to the right, sometimes to the left, he uses his left foot more but he’s very comfortable on the right as well. So basically, he can play in any position in midfield.
“In fact, he can play the holding, defensive midfield position as well, he already has done this season. For me, his ideal position is when he has freedom, he can go forward and attack players. If he has space, he’ll attack it immediately and that produces space for other players.
“He’s very skilful… look, everyone is skilful, but what makes you different is what is in your head, and even though he’s very young, I don’t want to say he has an older head, but he has a more experienced head on his shoulders. He’s a very, very good player and he can go from strength to strength.”