Giovani Lo Celso has been a regular in Unai Emery’s Villarreal side since his loan switch from Tottenham, playing in a more attacking role than he did at Spurs after starting as a second striker, a role he played in with Real Betis previously.
The Argentine has received plenty of praise from the Spanish press as of late with Spanish newspaper Marca claimed that Lo Celso delivered a “great performance” and that he demonstrated “tremendous” passing ability in the final third to cause problems for the hosts.
Capable of playing in a number of different midifield positions, Lo Celso operated in central midfield, attacking midfield and even out wide in a front three for Tottenham this campaign.
Now operating as more of a second striker for the Europa League holders, the player has opened up on his new role and adapting to his coaches’ demands in the past.
“Now I am in the last third trying to make the last pass, to be close to the reference point that is [Arnaut] Danjuma, at this moment,” said Lo Celso.
“If there is something that I did these years in Europe, it was to adapt to the ideas of the coaches to what they ask of me”
“I went through many positions in the field. There isn’t one that says ‘I play here or I don’t play’.
On the contrary, I am open in that sense. And I know that in each position where I have to, I will continue learning things, resources, I adapt.”
“Today it’s my turn there, but there will be another time when I have another role or another position and I’ll also try to do what’s best for the team.”
Lo Celso has been in great form since joining Villarreal from Tottenham Hotspur. Despite not scoring since joining the club, he has been the brain-child on how the team functions and contribute to the team beyond the goal.
In his interview with Marca, here is what he had to say:
“Pablito (Aimar) is a typical 10 as we call them in Argentina, from Riquelme’s era, who was also a ten. Sadly, that position is being lost because football in Europe has adapted to other positions and today, football is measured a lot in statistics.
“The ten is more the creator of the play, the one who plays the last pass or the one who makes the team play but he doesn’t score as much and it makes it seem like it doesn’t have much importance, but he has a big impact.
Lo Celso has only started in two of his nine Premier League appearances for the club this term. Starting in five of his six La Liga games for his new club so far, the versatile midfielder knew that Emery’s side were perfect for him.
“I knew that I was coming to a team that plays colourful football, which is the protagonist and I feel comfortable with that idea,” he explained.
“I already knew the coach from PSG. I know how he works, what he can ask of a player and what he can make him perform.
when asked what options there are for him to continue at Villarreal next season, he replied.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do know that I’m working 100%, that I’m going to give my best and we’ll see what happens in the summer.”
The 25-year-old joined the north London club on loan in August 2019 from Real Betis, before making the switch permanent in January 2020 for £27m and he never truly reached the heights expected of him at Spurs.
The Argentine has struggled for form and fitness during his time at the club, with just 19 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring just once.