Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Giovani Lo Celso has completed his return to Villarreal on a season-long loan.
The Argentina international was frozen out of the squad under Antonio Conte earlier this summer, and it became clear that he did not have a long-term future at the club.
Lo Celso lost his place in the side in the early stages of the 2021-22 season, but he proceeded to reignite his career under the tutelage of Unai Emery at Villarreal.
The 26-year-old made 22 appearances for the Yellow Submarine in all tournaments, registering one goal and one assist in 16 La Liga matches.
Lo Celso also played a vital role in helping Villarreal reach the semi-finals of the Champions League, featuring in the knockout wins against Juventus and Bayern Munich.
— Villarreal CF (@VillarrealCF) August 14, 2022
Villarreal were always expected to welcome Lo Celso back to the club, with the former Real Betis and Paris Saint-Germain man left out of Tottenham’s pre-season squad for their South Korea tour.
However, Emery’s side struggled to meet Tottenham’s asking price for a permanent deal, as the midfielder is still contracted to the North London club until the end of the 2024-25 season.
Nevertheless, a loan agreement was reached, and Villarreal have now announced that Lo Celso is back at La Ceramica for the 2022-23 season after completing his medical.
Lo Celso’s loan deal at Villarreal is not thought to include an option or obligation to buy, but Tottenham can interrupt his stay in January if there is an opportunity to sell him permanently.
The South American could make his second debut for Villarreal in midweek, as the Yellow Submarine meet Hajduk Split in the first leg of their Europa Conference League qualifying playoff tie.
Lo Celso has tallied eight goals and six assists in 84 appearances for Tottenham in all competitions, but he only started two Premier League games in the first half of the 2021-22 season.
The midfielder joins the likes of Joe Rodon, Alfie Devine, Troy Parrott and Dane Scarlett in being loaned out this summer, while Steven Bergwijn, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Kion Etete and Jack Clarke have left permanently.
Tottenham are also trying to shift Harry Winks, Tanguy Ndombele and Sergio Reguilon before the transfer window shuts, with Ndombele said to have agreed to sign for Napoli on loan.
However, Spurs are struggling to find suitors for Winks and Reguilon ahead of the deadline, and the duo have supposedly been banished from first-team training while the club sorts out their futures.
Tottenham left it late to rescue a 2-2 draw with Chelsea in Sunday’s Premier League London derby, and Conte has since opened up on his fracas with opposite number Thomas Tuchel as both men received red cards after the full-time whistle.