Arteta delivers verdict on Arsenal's win over Tottenham
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Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Giovani Lo Celso proved to Nuno Espirito Santo on Thursday that he could be a crucial creative source in his team, reckons Peter Crouch. Lo Celso registered a goal and an assist as Tottenham thumped Slovenian outfit NS Mura 5-1 in the Europa Conference League group stage.
Lo Celso received his third start of the season as part of Nuno’s attack alongside Bryan Gil and Dane Scarlett.
The 25-year-old often dropped into deeper positions to create for his teammates, especially after Son Heung-min and Harry Kane entered the pitch on the hour mark.
Amid three successive defeats in the Premier League, Nuno may now be tempted to hand Lo Celso a start against Aston Villa on Sunday.
Glenn Hoddle has expressed his excitement over Lo Celso’s performance because he could be the creative player Spurs have missed this season.
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He told BT Sport: “Look at Lo Celso [in the] second half. He must go home now, Nuno, and think: ‘Actually, I’ve not seen that in him. Since I’ve been at the club, I’ve not seen him playing forward, hitting killer balls’.
“He’s got it in there. Be it against lesser opposition, be it having time on the ball; some players don’t know how to use time and space. But he proved tonight that he can pass forward if there’s good movement in front of him.
“He’s got to reproduce that. If he reproduces that, I’m excited now. Because I’ve been saying they haven’t got a creative midfield player.
“[Tanguy] Ndombele takes too many touches. He’s a little bit of what I call a playground player in many ways – great skills but then not consistent.”
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Hoddle continued by suggesting Lo Celso can offer Nuno something Alli can’t in midfield – creativity from deep.
“But I’m looking for this creativity, and I’ve seen it in 20 minutes of football with that strike force that came on. Now they’ve got something to play with,” Hoddle explained.
“No disrespect, I think Dele Alli can play in that further position and get in the box and score goals.
“I do not see him as a deeper midfield player like we saw Lo Celso linking and playing one-twos and setting people free. He is not that style of player.
“He is a box threat and can score goals. But if you play him deeper like they did against Arsenal, you are not going to get the best out of Dele Alli.”
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Crouch chimed in on the topic, describing Lo Celso as ‘crucial’ and claiming his presence could ensure Kane stays in a more advanced position where he’s best.
He added: “I think he’s [Lo Celso’s] crucial. When you see him playing like that, it’s creativity that we’ve struggled with at Spurs. Winks, Skipp, Hojbjerg – they do good jobs, but they’re not going to open a team up.
“Often when that happens, when there is a lack of creativity, Harry Kane has to drop deep, and then you lose him in those areas where you want him to score goals.
“I think with Lo Celso playing like this, if he can do this in the Premier League, you have a creative player from deep, you’ll have the runs of Son, you can keep Kane high; it’s a crucial, crucial part of Tottenham play.”
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