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Spurs’ “special” 6 ft 1 Spurs “engine” is making Ange forget all about Maddison

Tottenham Hotspur failed to secure victory once again in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon, but Ange Postecoglou won’t care about that.

Leaving the Etihad Stadium with a point against Treble-winning Manchester City, Postecoglou praised his players after an enthralling 3-3 affair, remarking at how they made it “uncomfortable” for the hosts.

Spurs have been ravaged by injury over recent weeks and have lost a shocking amount of players to derail the early-season title charge, but the spirited display against the champions evidences the quality within this Tottenham squad.

Notably, influential summer signings James Maddison and Micky van de Ven have been absent since nine-man Spurs lost to Chelsea, but Giovani Lo Celso has stepped up in creative genius Maddison’s absence of late.

Giovani Lo Celso’s season in numbers

Discarded and discredited as a Premier League-quality star, Lo Celso is enjoying a blooming revival under Postecoglou’s wing of late, making good use of the opportunity arising from Maddison’s issue – with the England international sidelined until the new year.

Scoring against City and Aston Villa in his past two appearances in the English top flight, the Argentinian midfielder has proved that he has what it takes to impress.

The £70k-per-week ace had spent the past 18 months out on loan with Villarreal after struggling to make his mark in London, but a resurgence may well be on the cards if he sustains his recent exploits.


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As per FBref, he ranks among the top 20% of positional peers across Europe’s top five leagues over the past year for goals, the top 11% for assists, the top 6% for shot-creating actions and the top 1% for pass completion, passes attempted and progressive passes per 90.

With Postecoglou implementing a free-flowing, expansive style, the security that he brings to the centre of the park is a testament to his natural quality, but he’s not actually the man to assume Maddison’s role.

That task appears to have fallen on Dejan Kulusevski‘s shoulders…

Dejan Kulusevski is Tottenham’s “engine”

With Kulusevski’s daring header bypassing Ederson’s goal to secure a draw in the dying embers against Manchester City, Sky Sports’ Jamie Weir was among the masses in awe.

The reporter said: “Dejan Kulusevski really is a special special player. Works so hard, covers every blade of grass. Hell of an engine on him, and just so much heart.”

Having started all 14 of Tottenham’s Premier League fixtures this term, the Swedish winger has scored four goals and supplied an assist, but his impact stretches far beyond his final product.

As per Sofascore, the 23-year-old has complemented his direct return with an average of two key passes, 1.4 tackles and 4.1 ball recoveries per game, highlighting his multi-dimensional approach to his craft.

Over the past two games, the 6 foot 1 Kulusevski has been shifted into a central attacking role to mirror Maddison, and his display against the champions is an apt illustration of his pedigree and aptitude in interchangeability.

Maddison, who had scored three goals and supplied five assists in the Premier League for the Lilywhites before his injury – winning August’s Player of the Month – has averaged 2.9 key passes per game.

Pundit Jermaine Jenas claimed that the 26-year-old is “on the verge” of becoming world-class, and while that may be so, Kulusevski is proving that he can flourish in the centre for Postecoglou, allowing Lo Celso to sit deeper and pull the strings.


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