Having made a total of four substitutions at Kenilworth Road on Saturday, Ange Postecoglou decided that Alejo Veliz would be her last substitution of the day. Naked and ready to go in while he stood on the sidelines, his head coach initially told the Argentine to sit back down as Dejan Kulusevski was ready to continue playing.
Five minutes later, Postecoglou did indeed make that change, thus giving Véliz the remainder of the five minutes of stoppage time allotted to help Tottenham cross the line. With Luton Town looking to advance the ball and cause Spurs problems in their own area, the Lilywhites ideally needed a fresh pair of legs and the strength and power of Véliz to keep the ball up front when they attacked themselves. .
Following Son Heung-min’s substitution in the 76th minute, Kulusevski was used as the team’s only striker and more than matched the strength and power of Luton’s backline. He was tired after making a big change and it made sense for Véliz to come in and help finish the game.
The 20-year-old had one scoring chance in his short time on the pitch, with Pape Matar Sarr coming in after a good run by the Senegalese ace. Perhaps taking too long to identify his teammate, Véliz was ultimately penalized for offside, although he himself took too long to shoot on goal once he had possession of the ball.
The summer signing may have only been on the pitch for a few minutes, but he made an impact by using his powerful frame to hold the ball well. The Godeken-born player, who has now appeared from the bench in the last two Premier League matches, will be hoping his final minutes will continue to increase once domestic football resumes after the second international break of the season.
Véliz’s playing time may have come as a surprise to Spurs fans following Postecoglou’s comments on the eve of the new campaign. Ahead of the game at Brentford on the opening weekend, the 58-year-old stressed that his new arrival was for the future and that he would be unlikely to get any minutes in the early part of the season.
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“I think it will take him a while. We just have to let him calm down, he has gone around the world,” said the Spurs coach. “He’s a young guy, he’s quite a different level. He’s someone we’ll invest in long-term, but I wouldn’t expect him to see minutes in the first part of the season.”
Taking into account Postecoglou’s previous words and Véliz’s minutes in the last two games and his place in the matchday team in the last three, this shows that he has clearly impressed the Hotspur Way behind-the-scenes head coach and has changed his way of thinking. process as a result. Injuries in the final third also played a role, with the striker offering something slightly different to Postecoglou.
Following his 28 minutes off the bench for Tottenham’s under-21 team in their recent 5-0 win over Colchester United in the EFL Trophy, Postecoglou spoke about the leader’s performance and how he has adapted to life at his club. new home.
“To be fair to him, he’s only had one week of training, he had two sessions last week. We gave him playing time for the under-21 team and now he’s had a full week of training. It’s great to have him on board, but again there are no expectations.” his contribution,” the boss explained when he was asked about football.london.
“Obviously being in the attacking third I think he’ll get some opportunities for some game time but we still need to let him adapt and involve him in training more consistently over the next two or three weeks and get him one or two games more for Under-21s, because he has missed a lot of football, but we have been very encouraged by the way he has approached things and adapted to life here.
“He’s just a young lad from the other side of the world. The atmosphere in the dressing room is fantastic and watching him the other night, he’s showing his attributes, he’s got great movement and he’s a real number nine in terms of how he plays.” he attacks the area and I’m looking forward to catching him up.”
Véliz, clearly a very talented player after the club decided to spend £13m on his services, could make a big impact for Tottenham sooner than people had initially anticipated. Key to this will be an increase in playing time over the coming weeks and months, and Spurs’ lack of domestic and European football in 2023/24 was certainly a blow as it would have been perfect to increase his playing time in those competitions.
However, there will be minutes here and there for him in the Premier League, and all Tottenham fans will be hoping that will be the case in the coming months. Véliz is definitely doing things the right way in training currently, as Postecoglou mentioned in his pre-Luton press conference, and that only bodes well for him in his Tottenham career.
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