According to Daily Record, Tottenham Hotspur have agreed terms with Real Betis over the transfer of Giovani Lo Celso. Spurs are willing to fork out €52 million for the Argentine international with an additional €8 million to be paid in performance-related variables.
The addition of Lo Celso will surely be a massive coup for Mauricio Pochettino. But how will he fit into the Spurs starting lineup?
An ambitious 4-3-1-2
If implemented properly, the 4-1-3-2 setup could make Tottenham Hotspur a strong contender for the Premier League title. The formation not only allows stability in midfield but also provides additional incision into the attack with two strikers.
Pochettino used this formation during the backend of last season. And with Harry Kane back to full fitness, he can form the offensive combination with Son Heung-Min. But it’s the midfield that matters.
While a lot will depend on whether or not Christian Eriksen remains at the club, potential new signing Lo Celso can easily slot into the three-man midfield setup alongside Tanguy Ndombele.
The record arrival from Lyon could be utilised in a deeper role should Eriksen remains, allowing the Dane and Lo Celso to feature in a slightly advanced role. Dele Alli, meanwhile, will occupy the lone attacking midfield position, just behind the two forwards.
The flexible 3-4-1-2
Pochettino used this formation often last season, especially when he had to rotate the squad. This is quite similar to the 4-3-1-2 formation except the two wing-backs occupy the wide roles.
The Argentine is unlikely to use this formation unless he has to rotate his squad as it will restrict at least one of Lo Celso, Eriksen, Alli or Ndombele from being included in the starting lineup. In the event of Eriksen’s departure, Alli, as usual, will operate as the number ten.
As for Lo Celso, he could form the double pivot alongside Ndombele. Both the midfielders have an immense technical quality that should allow Spurs to become more much effective in possession. This is even more so with the three-man backline that enables them to have the numerical superiority in the middle third of the pitch.
The conventional 4-2-3-1
It won’t be surprising to see Eric Dier being considered as a central defender, especially if Toby Alderweireld leaves this summer. And should that happen, Pochettino will need to conjure up a specific gameplan that will minimise the need of a holding midfielder.
The Argentine mastermind could follow the Lucien Favre method and opt for the conventional 4-2-3-1 setup. At Borussia Dortmund, both Thomas Delaney and Axel Witsel tend to sit in the middle third of the pitch, augmenting the overall game with their work-rate.
Similarly, Lo Celso and Ndombele can be deployed in the double-pivot, with Eriksen, Alli and Son forming the creative trifecta. However, it remains doubtful whether or not Ndombele will be able to operate in a deeper role.
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