Alejo Veliz has subbed for Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham in the last two league games, and he’ll be hoping to get more playing time after the break.
Ange Postecoglou chose Alejo Veliz as his last substitution after making a total of four changes at Kenilworth Road on Saturday. The Argentine, stripped and prepared to play, was initially instructed to sit back down by his head coach because Dejan Kulusevski was fine to continue.
Postecoglou actually made the change five minutes later, giving Veliz the remaining five minutes of statutory stoppage time to assist Tottenham cross the finish line. The Lilywhites ideally needed a fresh set of legs and Veliz’s size and power to keep the ball up front while they were attacking as Luton Town was trying to bring the ball forward and create Spurs issues in their own area.
Kulusevski was utilized as the team’s lone striker after Son Heung-min was replaced in the 76th minute, and he more than held his own against the strength and force of Luton’s backline. After a long shift, he was exhausted, thus it made sense for Veliz to enter the game and assist in finishing the game.
In his little time on the field, the 20-year-old did have one opportunity to score when Pape Matar Sarr played him in following a strong run by the Senegalese star. Veliz was eventually whistled for offside after possibly taking too long to identify his partner, even if he took too long to get his shot on goal once he had possession of the ball.
The summer addition may have only spent a brief amount of time on the field, but he nevertheless had an impact by effectively holding the ball up with his strong physique. The Godeken-born player, who has recently started off the bench in two Premier League games, will be hopeful that his recent minutes will continue to rise once domestic action starts following the second international break of the season.
Given Postecoglou’s remarks on the eve of the new season, Veliz’s playing time may have surprised Spurs supporters. The 58-year-old explained that his latest addition was one for the future and that playing time in the early going of the season would be doubtful before the team’s opening weekend match at Brentford.
“I believe he will need some time. He’s traveled halfway around the world, so we just need to give him some time to settle down, the Spurs head coach remarked. “He’s a young man, and the level is quite different. In the long run, we’ll invest in him, but I don’t think he’ll get any playing time in the early going.
Based on Postecoglou’s earlier comments, Veliz’s playing time in the last two games, and his inclusion in the matchday squad in the previous three, it is obvious that he has had an impact on the head coach at Hotspur Way and changed his way of thinking as a result. Injuries in the final third have also been a factor, and the striker provides Postecoglou with a little different option.
Postecoglou talked about the frontman’s performance and how he’s adjusting to life in his new neighborhood after the forward played for 28 minutes off the bench for Tottenham’s Under-21s in their recent 5-0 victory away at Colchester United in the EFL Trophy.
“To be fair to him, he has only been training for a week and only attended two sessions last week. For the U21s, we provided him playing time, and he has already completed a full week of training. Although there are no expectations for his participation, it’s nice to have him on board, the boss said in response to a question from football.london.
“Obviously, being in the attacking third, I think he will get some opportunities for some game time, but we still need to let him settle and get him involved in training more consistently over the next two or three weeks in order to get him a few more games for the U21s, because he has missed a lot of football. However, we have been really encouraged by the way he has gone about things and adapted to life here.
He is a young man traveling from another continent. The atmosphere in the locker room is fantastic, and after watching him the other night, I can see that he has the qualities of a real number nine in terms of how he charges the box. I’m looking forward to getting him up to speed.
Veliz, who Tottenham paid £13 million for, is undoubtedly a very gifted player and may contribute significantly to the team’s success sooner than many may have anticipated. The key to that will be more playing time in the upcoming weeks and months. It is unfortunate that Spurs won’t be playing any domestic or European football in 2023–24; it would have been the ideal opportunity to boost his playing time in those tournaments.
However, he will only see sporadic action in the Premier League, and all Spurs supporters will be hoping for that to remain the case in the coming months. According to Postecoglou in his pre-Luton press conference, Veliz is obviously going about things the proper way in training right now, and it can only be good for him in his Tottenham career.