The £42m January transfer blunder that Tottenham cannot afford to make

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Spurs could face interest in midfielder Giovani Lo Celso this January, according to reports.

Had you asked over the summer, it probably would have been something of a no-brainer. Giovani Lo Celso, failed experiment, was largely surplus to requirements at Tottenham Hotspur just a few short months ago, and his departure, temporary or permanent, felt like a creeping inevitability more than anything else. Now, it is not so certain.

When it comes to injuries, few clubs in the Premier League have endured the kind of rotten luck that Spurs have this season. Their squad has been stretched to an absurd extent, and with just one win in five, it is fair to suggest that their fitness concerns have played a significant part in their sudden plummet from the top of the table. But while, for the most part, those widespread absences have been a negative thing, they have also afforded certain opportunities to players who might otherwise have been left out in the cold.

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Take the aforementioned Lo Celso, for instance. The Argentine midfielder, having played just twice in the Premier League prior to the end of October, has now featured in all five of Spurs' most recent top flight outings - and to relatively decent effect too, scoring two goals in that run. And he has pulled his weight in other ways as well; at the time of writing, the 27-year-old boasts a pass completion rate of 92.3%, the fourth highest of any Tottenham player to have recorded 200 minutes or more this season.

All of that is to say that while his regular starting berth may be in jeopardy when the likes of James Maddison or Rodrigo Bentancur return to action, Lo Celso has still proven himself to be a useful option to Ange Postecoglou in times of need. Which brings us to a report from 90min, and their claims that Barcelona are interested in taking the midfielder on loan in the January transfer window. It is understood that the Catalan giants are in the market for reinforcements following an injury to teenage talisman Gavi, and could look to secure a short-term agreement for Lo Celso as a potential solution.

For his part, it is suggested that Postecoglou is 'appreciative' of the South American's talent, and is 'fine with him staying' in North London, but it remains to be seen whether Spurs' transfer chiefs take a similar view of the situation. Lo Celso's current contract expires in 2025, and there is a growing feeling that any offer of an extension might too big of a commitment to make to a player who has missed more than a half century of matches through injury since joining the club from Real Betis for around £42 million back in 2019.

Those worries are, of course, understandable, but it would also represent a considerable risk for Tottenham to freely sanction his exit at this particular moment in time. As has been proven, their squad is paper thin, and until it is suitably bolstered, they may need to conserve the resources that they have. In some cases, that might mean settling for second best, but where Lo Celso is concerned he is evidently a fine talent who has been repeatedly disrupted by injury.

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As such, would it not make more sense for Spurs to snub Barcelona's interest for now, not only to provide another midfield option for Postecoglou, but also to give themselves a better chance of assessing Lo Celso's worth to their project going forward? Then, and only then, can they make an informed decision on whether or not to offer him a deal beyond 2025.

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