New manager uses ‘4-2-3-1’…Lo Celso, ignored by Conte, is set to return on loan

Giovani Lo Celso is expected to return to Tottenham Hotspur first.

Spurs Web, a Tottenham fan community, reported on September 9 (KST), “Recently, Matt Law, a reporter for the UK’s Telegraph, revealed that Lo Celso does not want to return to Tottenham. We shared the news, but a source close to the player has since said, ‘There is no problem with Lo Celso returning. He will be happy to come back,” the report said.

Lo Celso joined Tottenham on loan from Real Betis in the summer of 2019. He completed the move six months later and was touted as a player who would bring creativity to the Spurs midfield. Tottenham spent a total of €48 million to acquire Lo Celso. However, his place in the side was limited after Mauricio Pochettino was sacked.

He made just 18 English Premier League (EPL) appearances (11 starts, 7 substitutions) under Jose Mourinho in the 2020-21 season. The situation didn’t change under Nuno Espirito Santo and then Antonio Conte.

Lo Celso then went on loan to Villarreal during the 2021-22 season. He had a positive second half of the season, making 16 Spanish La Liga appearances (11 starts, 5 substitutions) and six UEFA Champions League (UCL) matches. He returned after a successful loan spell, but still had no place at Tottenham.

Notably, he was left out of the squad for Conte’s pre-season tour of South Korea. As a result, Lo Celso was sent out on loan to Villarreal once again. Until the end of the season. Lo Celso played 22 La Liga games (14 starts, 8 substitutions), scoring two goals and providing three assists. He was out for about 50 days during the season.

Now it’s time to start thinking about his future. First of all, Tottenham have a new manager. Conte, who played two central midfielders in favor of a three-man defense, is gone, replaced by Enze Postecoglou, who prefers a four-man defense. In Postecoglou’s 4-2-3-1 formation, Lo Celso will be given plenty of opportunities.