Tottenham may have the ideal backup plan for Ange Postecoglou with their “secret weapon.”
VAR was the center of attention when Tottenham Hotspur stabbed a dagger into Liverpool’s hearts last month.
Joel Matip’s own goal sent North London into raptures after a grueling eight minutes of stoppage time. In the press conferences that followed, Jurgen Klopp lost his cool and demanded that the game be replayed after Luis Diaz’s first-half goal was incorrectly overturned.
Alejo Veliz, a summer signing for Spurs, made his club debuts among the turmoil. Even while it wasn’t going to change the world, the injury-time cameo gave the supporters a peek of their $13 million player.
Veliz is made of a different material than graceful South American forwards like Luis Suarez and Sergio Aguero, who have wowed the Premier League with their skill and finesse. Adrian Dezotti, his previous coach at Rosario Central, provided some insight into the 20-year-old’s qualities.
“Alejo is really intelligent but also very cunning, mischievous,” he said to The Athletic. He is quite cunning and has several tricks in his sleeve. He is a quick thinker and a strategist. When we finished third in the league that year, I can only think of one game, a really challenging road game against Lanus.
“When one of their strikers made a solo break, we were up 2-1. He left our defenders behind as he sprinted from half way and appeared certain to score. Alejo whistled next, pretending to be the referee who had stopped the match. One of our center backs stole the ball when the striker halted.
“Their coach lost it and yelled at the official. They missed the goal, and we prevailed 3-2 in the end. That demonstrated how he had a roguish, comedic side and how intently he was watching the match.
“He wasn’t even close to the action, yet he did something to assist us win a difficult game. It was a bold move. The Lanus coach desired to have him killed.
Veliz might provide Ange Postecoglou with the perfect Premier League backup plan. Plan A has so far been a great success, with Tottenham defying the doubters to hold the league’s top spot.
However, if they feel the need for a change of course, who better to turn to than a bullish, Argentine target man? Players like Diego Costa and Aleksandar Mitrovic have developed ferocious reputations in recent years, when strong strikers are a dying breed.
loved by their own followers, hated by everyone else. And at Tottenham, Veliz has the potential to become just that.
There is no disputing that he approaches the game differently than his fellow strikers for Spurs. During the previous season, the Argentine under-20 international won 58 percent of his aerial contests. Even though they are all excellent, Richarlison (38%) Brennan Johnson (33.3%), and Heung-min Son (24.3%) were not quite as skilled in the air.
Veliz cannot be matched by anyone else in the division, according to his former coach, who went even farther. “There is no other Premier League player who has the aerial game that Alejo does,” Dezotti continued, “and I watch a lot of English football. It’s astounding.
“You’ll witness (Veliz’s abilities).” He has an effective header on him and good jumping skills. My attention was drawn to that aerial game.