You’d think Real Betis would be missing a player who scored or assisted 22 goals in all competitions last season. Not so, according to vice president Jose Miguel Lopez Catalan.
After just one full season at the Estadio Benito Villamarin, Giovani Lo Celso bid farewell having established himself as one of the most effective goalscoring midfielders anywhere in European football.
Tottenham Hotspur finally, finally got their man after a transfer saga which appeared to last the entirety of the summer, The Sun claiming that the North London giants signed the Argentine on loan with an obligation to buy next summer for £38 million.
But Real Betis are not mourning Lo Celso’s departure. Far from it.
With the La Liga outfit using the £15 million loan fee paid by Spurs to lure Nabil Fekir away from Lyon, Catalan is confident that Betis are stronger now with the French World Cup winner pulling the strings from midfield.
“Last year Betis were renowned for a solid midfield, we've retained the bulk of these players with Fekir taking Lo Celso's place,” he told AS.
“I'd say the French player is at the same level or even better than the Argentine.”
Tottenham were also linked with Fekir before putting all their eggs in Lo Celso’s basket, via Le Parisien, and the irony of Catalan’s comments will not be lost on fans of Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
Fekir has scored twice in three La Liga games already, including a brilliant whipped finish against Barcelona. Lo Celso, meanwhile, has been restricted to just 44 minutes of football since arriving in England.
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