The one Tottenham player Ange Postecoglou should not have let go in the January transfer window

Ange Postecoglou is struggling with the lack of an out-and-out striker at present
Ange Postecoglou is struggling with the lack of an out-and-out striker at present -Credit:Alex Davidson/Getty Images

Alejo Veliz's January loan move to Sevilla has just not gone to plan at all. Heading to Spain at the turn of the year in hope of getting some regular minutes under his belt, the 20-year-old has barely featured for his new club since departing Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Arriving at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium not 100 per cent fully fit after sustaining a knee injury in Spurs' home win over Bournemouth on New Year's Eve, Veliz watched on from the stands for his first two games as a Sevilla player before he was called into Quique Sanchez Flores' matchday squad. With Sevilla looking over their shoulder at the relegation zone and needing a striker to move them away from danger, it appeared the perfect move for both clubs.

Two-and-a-half months on from his move to Andalusia, the Argentina Under-20 international only has three Sevilla appearances to his name. What is even more worrying from the perspective of both the player and Tottenham is that he is even missing out on the 23-man matchday squad.

That was the case on Sunday as Los Nervionenses won 2-0 away at Las Palmas. It was also the case just prior to the first international break of 2024 as they lost 2-1 at home to relegation candidates Celta Vigo.

Following last weekend's victory in Gran Canaria, the striker was one of 11 players who took part in a voluntary training session at the club's training base despite the fact that Sunday was their day off. Veliz was joined by former Tottenham man Erik Lamela as they put in the work ahead of next Monday's league fixture against Real Mallorca.

It remains to be seen if Veliz will make Sanchez Flores' squad for their next league fixture. Going on his past few selections, the Spurs youngster may well miss out again.

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Just one month ago in Spanish publication AS, Sevilla's dealings in the winter transfer market were questioned with three of their new additions - Veliz, Hannibal Mejbri of Manchester United and Inter Milan's Lucien Agoume - barely featuring at all. Agoume, who was recently absent for five games through injury, has played the most amount of minutes out of the trio so far with 203 across five La Liga appearances, Hannibal has 89 minutes across four appearances and Veliz 23 minutes from his three substitute appearances.

Whereas Agoume looks the one out of the January signings who will feature a bit more regularly between now and the end of the season, it does seem that Sanchez Flores is not too keen on the signings made by Sevilla sporting director Victor Orta when you take a look at their lack of action. Hannibal's last Sevilla appearance came on Saturday, March 2, with the midfielder an unused substitute on three occasions since then and left out of the squad completely just the once.

In the case of Veliz, it's extremely hard to see where his minutes are going to come from in the weeks ahead with Sevilla having seven games remaining in the 2023/24 La Liga campaign. The ex-Rosario Central striker would undoubtedly have played more than the 23 minutes he has so far received at Sevilla had he remained with Tottenham during the January transfer window.

He may even have got 32 minutes to his name in last Saturday's 4-0 defeat to Newcastle United as Son Heung-min, who was operating in a central role, was hooked just prior to the hour mark with very little going his way. The Lilywhites have really lacked an out-and-out striker in Richarlison's absence over the past two games and opportunities in the team, as well as appearances off the bench in the team's previous fixtures, may well have been there for Veliz given his ability to hold up the ball.

It very much does now appear that a Tottenham stay would have benefited Veliz's development when it comes to his Premier League experience as he bids to be a regular under Ange Postecoglou in the future. However, at the time it was hard to disagree that a Sevilla loan deal wasn't the right move for the youngster due to his lack of minutes at Tottenham up until then, Richarlison's fine form in front of goal, the acquisition of Timo Werner and Son's ability to also play through the middle.

You just never know what's around the corner in football, though, and hindsight is a wonderful thing. Once he returns to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this summer, Veliz may find himself departing out on loan once again as part of the changes Postecoglou and Johan Lange will make to the Tottenham squad.

Spurs are well stocked with non-homegrown players at present, especially if they do manage to secure European football for next term, and that may result in another loan move for the Argentine unless there is big movement in regards to non-homegrown players heading out of the door. If that does prove to be the case come August, both Tottenham and Veliz will be praying for better luck on the loan front going on the striker's frustrating time in Spain so far.

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