Spurs boss Jose Mourinho insists he wouldn’t swap Giovani Lo Celso for Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes if he was given the choice.
Tottenham were thought to be close to a deal for Fernandes last summer before instead opting to sign Lo Celso on loan from Real Betis.
Fernandes has scored five goals for the Red Devils having joined in January, while Lo Celso is yet to manage a goal or an assist in 21 league appearances.
Mourinho told Sky Sports News when asked if he would have liked Tottenham to sign Fernandes: “I don’t know anything about that, but if that is true, and if Giovani Lo Celso was the player that came to Spurs [instead of Fernandes], then I would say I wouldn’t change Giovani Lo Celso for any player.
“[I wouldn’t swap Lo Celso] for any player. It’s not just for Bruno, but for any player.
“I came to the club and he wasn’t playing. I think the only match he started was Red Star Belgrade away in the Champions League – apart from that he was not playing.
“When I arrived I went in other directions and he did exactly what I love a player to do: ‘I’m going to show you’.
“[There was] no spoiled kid reactions, no crying, no moaning, no agents and family throwing messages to the press and to the social media. It was just between him and me: ‘I’m going to show you’, and he showed me step-by-step.
“The way he was working every day, the way he was coming to matches, the way he was changing matches.
“I remember the match against Liverpool: he was on the bench, he came on for the last half-an-hour and he changed the game.
“The only thing that didn’t happen was us changing the result because we were so unlucky, but he changed the game.
“When he had his first start: ‘Goodbye, I give you no chance and this place is mine’. In this moment, what people can see from him is an injured player playing, or a player that during the week is not working like the others.
“He’s working with lots of different conditions to try to play and to try to resist until the end of the season so what you see from Gio now is not the end product – he’s a fantastic player for us.”