Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho said his struggling and fatigued Spurs are feeling the absence of Harry Kane and their key attackers after he suffered a career first on Thursday.

Spurs crashed to a 1-0 defeat to London rivals Chelsea in Premier League action at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, where Jorginho's first-half penalty settled the contest.

It was another toothless display from Tottenham, who were without Kane, Giovani Lo Celso and Sergio Reguilon, while Dele Alli remains out of favour following a failed attempt to join Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain on loan prior to the transfer window closing.

Mourinho – in his 327th home league match – suffered back-to-back league defeats on home soil for the first time in his career, while Spurs were condemned to three successive Premier League losses for the first time since November 2012.

As Spurs languish in eighth position and seven points adrift of the top four, Mourinho bemoaned his absentees and a hectic fixture list.

"Well, [Sergio] Reguilon means something for our attacking football," Mourinho told reporters. "Harry Kane means something for our attacking football. Giovani Lo Celso again means something for our attacking football.

"A good Dele Alli that we don’t have yet but hope that we can have in the future means something for us. It's not just what they mean, they mean that we don't have many options to rotate players and we finish with people with some signs of fatigue because of the accumulation of matches because we don't have so many players to rest. 

"The second thing is confidence. The confidence levels are very, very important to play football. When a team doesn't have good results, a period when results are not good, you need that click back to go back to normality. So, for me it's a little bit like that."

On rebuilding confidence after losses to Liverpool (3-1), Brighton and Hove Albion (1-0) and Chelsea, Mourinho added: "Look, I think we did that after Brighton because for me the Brighton defeat is a defeat like this one, 1-0, the same way.

"We managed in the group to change some things and I believe the reflection of the second half means something for me and I believe for the group. I don't like to speak about Harry Kane and company but they mean something also for the confidence of the players. The reality is that since Liverpool half-time, that is very difficult for us to connect certain dynamics. We tried without [Carlos] Vinicius against Brighton.

"We tried today with Vinicius and two up. We tried in the second half with him as a target man and two wingers and a No.10. We're trying to go on the search but I saw togetherness.  

"It's not easy to see togetherness with bad results, defeats, difficulties, injuries. Togetherness is very easy to show when you're on a high and winning matches, when everything is amazing. But in difficult moments it's more difficult to see that togetherness but I saw that in the second half. No doubts for me."

Despite Tottenham's desperate and unsuccessful search for an equaliser against Chelsea, star loanee Gareth Bale was snubbed again by Mourinho.

Bale was left among the substitutes – the Wales international has only featured in 230 minutes of Premier League action this season, with just two of his six appearances coming as starts under Mourinho.

Asked about Bale – on a season-long loan from Madrid, Mourinho replied: "I'm doing my best; he's doing his best. Everybody is doing their best."

Jose Mourinho was disappointed to learn of a Christmas party which saw Tottenham players Sergio Reguilon, Erik Lamela and Giovani Lo Celso breach coronavirus regulations.

Pictures circulated on social media of the Spurs trio at a festive gathering, with West Ham's Manuel Lanzini also in attendance.

The party went against COVID-19 rules put in place by the UK government as those present ignored social-distancing guidelines.

Head coach Mourinho was particularly disheartened having gifted Reguilon with a cooked pig to help him adjust to his first Christmas in England.

"I gave him an amazing gift, a Portuguese piglet, which is amazing for Portuguese and Spanish," Mourinho said after Tottenham's 3-0 defeat of Leeds United on Saturday.

"I gave him it because I was told he was going to spend Christmas on his own. I had this thought about him. He was not alone, as you can see.

"We as a club feel disappointed. We give the players all the education, we give the players all the conditions and, of course, we are not happy. It was a negative surprise for us."

Reguilon had started Spurs' prior match at Wolves but was an unused substitute against Leeds, while Lamela was absent from the squad. Lo Celso is injured.

Between the games against Wolves and Leeds, Tottenham had a trip to Fulham postponed due to coronavirus cases in the home camp.

Asked if he was angered by the behaviour of his players, Mourinho added: "I prefer to say disappointed.

"We know what we are internally. We don't need to open the door to you and let you know what is going on internally, what are going to be the consequences, how we approached that negative surprise. I feel disappointed, just that."

Lanzini appeared as a substitute in West Ham's 1-0 win at Everton on Friday but apologised for his part in the controversy the following day.

"I want to apologise for a bad mistake I made over Christmas and I take full responsibility for my actions," the midfielder wrote.

"I know people have made difficult sacrifices to stay safe and I should be setting a better example."

Jose Mourinho does not believe Tottenham are heading into an easier run of Premier League fixtures after a string of tough encounters with fellow 'big six' sides.

Spurs faced Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in successive top-flight games across November and December, taking seven points in the process, before facing Liverpool after a trip to Crystal Palace.

Mourinho's side followed a defeat to the Premier League champions by losing against Leicester City – who finished fifth last season – on Sunday, leaving them sixth in the table and six points off top.

The back-to-back reverses mean Spurs are in danger of losing three straight Premier League games for the first time since November 2012 under Andre Villas-Boas.

But although four of Spurs' next five league outings will be against teams who went into Christmas Day in the bottom half, Mourinho is not expecting an easy ride.

Asked if the 'big six' will break away from the rest of the Premier League and whether Wolves, their opponents on Sunday, will be added to that group, Mourinho said: "I believe so but it's very hard in this league to have consistent runs, because every game is very difficult.

"We were in a period where we had to play against the considered top six teams, we got them all in a row, and now some people will say we are going to get an easier run of matches.

"What is easier? Going to Wolves, playing Fulham and Aston Villa is easier? It's not easier. We should be very happy [with where we are], and not sad with that, because it's a fantastic league, I believe."

Spurs will be without Giovani Lo Celso during their festive fixtures, but Mourinho is confident captain Harry Kane will be able to play a full part after overcoming a knock at the start of December.

Kane, who started the EFL Cup quarter-final win at Stoke on Wednesday, needs one more goal to become just the fourth Englishman to reach double figures in seven straight Premier League campaigns, after Michael Owen, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney.

"Gio will not be fit," said Mourinho. "I really don't know [how long he will be out]. He will not be playing in this period of Christmas, New Year's, that's for sure.

"I hope that [Kane] plays all of the next matches again. The next match is Sunday. I believe that a player like him that works well, takes good care of himself with a great professional life, I believe that he will be ready to play against Wolves."

Jose Mourinho believes Giovani Lo Celso has shown he is back to his best after Tottenham's 2-0 win over Royal Antwerp.

Lo Celso scored his fourth goal of the Europa League campaign as Spurs secured top spot in Group J on Thursday.

The Argentina international also had more key passes (four), shots (four), passes in the opposition half (34), touches (72), tackles (three) and possessions gained (12) than any of his team-mates.

Lo Celso has dealt with injuries to begin the season, but Spurs head coach Mourinho said the midfielder was back to his best.

"It is not about me, it is about them. Gio, last season he reached an incredible level. Then he had an injury and this season, the pre-season was non-existent for him," he told a news conference.

"I said a couple of times here that Gio needed a little bit more time. He's having that time. He's playing in the Europa League, he's coming from the bench normally in the Premier League. He played the last match well and he played tonight very well.

"It's like Gio back to normality because he's a very good player and when his physical condition is good he can express all of his quality.

"Tonight was the day when he showed that he's back and the intensity is there and the quality is there."

Premier League leaders Tottenham make the trip to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

Tottenham sealed top spot in Europa League Group J as second-half goals from Carlos Vinicius and Giovani Lo Celso helped Jose Mourinho's side to a 2-0 win over Royal Antwerp on Thursday.

Premier League leaders Spurs lost the reverse fixture 1-0 in October - their only group defeat - and needed a win in front of their 2,000 fans to usurp Antwerp, who had also already booked a last-32 spot.

The visitors more than held their own in a first half devoid of any real action but Vinicius tapped in with 56 minutes played after Gareth Bale's sublime free-kick hit the post and landed at the Brazilian forward's feet.

Son Heung-min and Harry Kane were introduced at that point and the latter played in Lo Celso for the second to ensure Tottenham will be among the seeded sides for Monday's draw.

Alireza Beiranvand kept out long-range efforts from Vinicius and Lo Celso, either side of Cristian Benavente's angled shot being blocked by Davinson Sanchez.

Visiting keeper Beiranvand was called into action again late in a balanced first half as he closed the angle to deny Vinicius after the forward was played in by Lucas Moura.

But the half-time introduction of Steven Bergwijn for Sergio Reguilon and a switch to a four-man defence gave Tottenham more control and they were soon in front.

Bale's dipping free-kick from more than 30 yards out was pushed onto the post by Beiranvand and Vinicius reacted quickest to the loose ball.

Substitutes Son and Kane went close to doubling Tottenham's tally but there was to be no denying Lo Celso, who took Kane's pass in his stride and calmly picked out the bottom-left corner with an outside-of-the-boot finish.

That was the 27th goal Kane has been directly involved in for Tottenham this season - more than he recorded in 34 games in 2019-20 - and he would have added another goal to his collection had he not slipped when shooting late on.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho criticised Giovani Lo Celso's work without the ball in Thursday's Europa League win over Ludogorets and says the Argentine is well short of match fitness. 

Lo Celso, who sustained a hamstring injury in October that ruled him out of two Premier League games, scored Spurs' final goal in a 3-1 win in Bulgaria before being replaced with 18 minutes remaining. 

He impressed in attack, taking three shots and making three key passes as Spurs bounced back from last week's shock 1-0 defeat to Royal Antwerp in Group J, while the former Paris Saint-Germain midfielder also proved he can help out defensively by winning all of his three duels and making two interceptions – a joint team-high.

However, Lo Celso lost possession 14 times, and Mourinho says the 24-year-old must show more intensity if he is to replicate the kind of form he showed during his maiden campaign in England last season.

"He was good with the ball and not very good without the ball," Mourinho told a media conference. "His physical condition is not good. He didn't have a pre-season.

"During the lockdown in the previous season he had problems. He didn't train in that period when other guys were training so he has been up and down in his preparation. 

"I feel that when he plays he's not the Gio that we know, not the Gio that we know can be an amazing player. But with the ball, of course, great and he knows what he's doing and understands the way we want to play. 

"But we need more intensity to be fitter and to be stronger in the transitions. Of course, he played more than an hour, and for that hour was a football match that we needed to win but it was also a training session to improve his match fitness."

Mourinho was so furious after last week's reverse to Antwerp that he said he would like to have substituted all 11 players at half-time. 

His team were far better against Ludogorets, registering 22 attempts and enjoying 56 per cent possession, but Mourinho warned Spurs' fringe players they need to maximise their opportunities. 

"We are speaking about top players, we are speaking about Tottenham players," he added. "I always expect the maximum from them, so I am quite demanding and I am never happy with little.

"There are a few things in this game that I expect much more from us, but I am happy with the initiative and the responsibility after we scored the first goal and I am happy we won the game quite comfortably.

"People who are not playing regularly must feel that every minute they are on the pitch is a minute to prove, is a minute to enjoy, is to give the maximum."

Tottenham travel to struggling West Brom on Sunday in the Premier League before the international break. 

Harry Kane scored his 200th Tottenham goal in a comfortable 3-1 Europa League victory over Ludogorets at the Huvepharma Arena on Thursday.

Captaining the team on his 300th appearance in all competitions, Kane became the third Spurs player to score a double century of goals when he headed in Lucas Moura's corner in the 13th minute.

The England international and Lucas then reversed roles for the latter to double the scoring after the half-hour mark, with Jose Mourinho's decision to make seven changes from the side that lost 1-0 to Royal Antwerp in their previous Group J outing paying dividends.

Kane was withdrawn at half-time and Claudiu Keseru pulled one back for Ludogerts but Giovanni Lo Celso restored the visitors' two-goal cushion 12 minutes later and they cruised to the three points.

It seemed like Kane's wait for his landmark strike would not be ended in Bulgaria when he lofted a glorious one-on-one opening over and rattled the post with a powerful drive inside the opening six minutes.

The third time proved the charm, however, as his next effort was a powerful header from Lucas' corner that Plamen Iliev could not keep out.

Iliev denied Matt Doherty before Gareth Bale slid a pass into Kane, who returned the favour for Lucas with a perfectly weighted square ball that the Brazilian tapped home.

Seemingly sensing the job was done, Mourinho replaced Kane with Carlos Vinicius for the second half and Keseru halved the deficit in the 50th minute with a volley after Bernard Tekpetey's shot looped up off Harry Winks.

Son Heung-min replaced Lucas in the 61st minute and 15 seconds later teed up Lo Celso to ensure that Spurs' Europa League campaign was put back on track.
 

What does it mean? Alli still on the fringes

Mourinho hooked Dele Alli at half-time in the defeat to Antwerp and the attacking midfielder was left out of the squad to face Brighton and Hove Albion last weekend.

Despite having five subs available to him, the Tottenham boss opted not to give Alli any game time even once the result was secured.

Spurs king Kane

By setting up Lucas' goal in the first half, Kane moved into double figures for goals and assist in all competitions in just his 13th appearance in all competitions this season. In this form it will not take long for him to reach Spurs' all-time leading goalscoring mark of 266 set by Jimmy Greaves.

A capable back-up?

Carlos Vinicius was sent on for his third Spurs appearance – all of which have come in the Europa League. He missed a fantastic opportunity from 10 yards in the 53rd minute and struggled to get involved in the game. Kane (19) was the only Spurs player with fewer than his 20 touches – though the skipper certainly made his count for more – while his six successful passes were the fewest on the team.

What's next?

Tottenham travel to struggling West Brom in the Premier League on Sunday, while Ludogorets take on fellow First League title hopefuls CSKA Sofia on the same day.

Tottenham booked their spot in the Europa League group stages after Harry Kane's hat-trick helped them to a thumping 7-2 win over Maccabi Haifa on Thursday.  

Playing their third game in just five days, only Toby Alderweireld and Steven Bergwijn kept their places in the starting XI from the side that beat Chelsea in the EFL Cup on Tuesday. 

Tjaronn Chery's wonderful long-range strike cancelled out Kane's second-minute opener but a Lucas Moura header and two goals from Giovani Lo Celso effectively put the game to bed by half-time.  

Nikita Rukavytsya and Kane exchanged goals from the penalty spot shortly after the interval before the England captain's third, plus a late Dele Alli penalty, ensured Spurs booked their place in Friday's draw. 

Jose Mourinho's men started in blistering fashion, taking the lead after just 92 seconds when an unmarked Kane turned home Ben Davies' cross from four yards.  

The visitors responded superbly to that early setback and grabbed a deserved equaliser after 17 minutes, Chery thundering into Joe Hart's top corner.  

Their joy was short-lived, however, as Lucas rose highest at the near post to flick Bergwijn's corner past Josh Cohen for his second goal of the season three minutes later.  

Lo Celso then scored twice in the space of three minutes before the break, first whipping inside Cohen's right-hand post from 12 yards and then lifting over the beleaguered goalkeeper from close range after being found by Kane.  

Rukavytsya pulled one back for the visitors in the 52nd minute after Matt Doherty was penalised for handling inside the area, although Kane restored Spurs' advantage four minutes later after Ernest Mabouka had been adjudged to have blocked Davies' cross with his arm. 

Kane then completed his hat-trick in the 74th minute, clipping over Cohen after wonderful work down the left from the impressive Bergwijn, before substitute Alli slotted home a stoppage-time penalty after an audacious piece of skill drew a foul from Bogdan Planic.


 

James Rodriguez, Allan and Abdoulaye Doucoure have all been named in the Everton starting XI for their Premier League opener at Tottenham.

Toffees manager Carlo Ancelotti has revamped the Everton midfield in the transfer window, most notably signing James from former club Real Madrid.

Ancelotti linked up with the Colombia international at both Madrid and Bayern Munich and was influential in his arrival at Goodison Park.

He goes straight into the Everton team, alongside fellow new arrivals Allan and Doucoure, who are supported in midfield by Andre Gomes.

Jose Mourinho's Spurs have two debutants, meanwhile, with Matt Doherty and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg each included.

Joe Hart is on the bench, joined by Steven Bergwijn, as Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min start alongside Harry Kane in attack.

Giovani Lo Celso had been battling a hamstring issue and did not make the 18-man matchday squad.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho insists he would not swap Giovani Lo Celso for Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes or any other midfield player.

Fernandes revealed last year he had agreed to join Spurs but the north London club were unwilling to match Sporting CP's valuation and instead turned to Lo Celso.

The Portugal international went on to join Tottenham's Premier League rivals United in January and has proved good value for the reported £67million (€80m) spent to sign him.

He has been directly involved in eight goals in eight league outings, while Lo Celso - whose loan switch from Real Betis was made permanent in January - has yet to register a goal or assist.

Mourinho says he is not bothered Spurs missed out on Fernandes' signature during Mauricio Pochettino's time in charge, however, as he rates Lo Celso just as highly.

"I don't know anything about [an agreement], but if that is true, and if Giovani Lo Celso was the player that came to Spurs instead, then I would say I wouldn't change Giovani Lo Celso for any player," he told Sky Sports.

"[I wouldn't swap Lo Celso] for any player. It's not just for Bruno, but for any player."

Lo Celso struggled for minutes when Mourinho succeeded Pochettino in November but has since started 11 of Tottenham's last 15 matches in all competitions.

Mourinho has been pleased with the Argentina international's positive attitude and believes there is still plenty more to come from the £27m (€30m) signing.

"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'," Mourinho said.

"[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."

Mourinho added: "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."

Harry Kane will start for Tottenham against Manchester United in their first Premier League match following the coronavirus-enforced pause after recovering from a torn hamstring, Jose Mourinho has confirmed.

Kane, 26, suffered the injury in the 1-0 defeat at Southampton on New Year's Day, condemning him to a lengthy period on the sidelines.

Initially it was suggested he could potentially miss the rest of the season, but with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a three-months suspension to the Premier League season, Spurs' chief goal threat will be able to play a major role in their final nine matches of the campaign.

Moussa Sissoko (knee) and Son Heung-min (broken arm) also suffered serious injuries before the lockdown, but they too are ready to return.

When speaking about team news in a virtual news conference on Thursday, Mourinho said: "We have little things [injuries] but we are going to wait until tomorrow [Friday, before ruling them in or out].

"Of course [Japhet] Tanganga has a stress fracture for a few months now and of course he didn't recover during this period, and we have some little problems that we have to analyse before we make a decision.

"But the ones that had the surgeries, Kane, Son and Sissoko, these three they recovered and they are ready to play.

"Kane doesn't play football for more than six months, so again he is working extremely well. I can tell you no problem he is going to start the game.

"Does harry have 90, 80, 70, 60 minutes in him? Only the game will tell us that. Is Harry on his top form? For him, I don't know. It's been around six months without a football match, but he works extremely well. He is an amazing professional and he's going to start tomorrow."

Mourinho was less certain about Giovani Lo Celso's prospects, however, as the Argentina international sustained an injury just before the lockdown, and regulations prevented him getting the treatment he required.

"I consider Gio one of the victims of the rules and one of the victims of the protocols, because he was injured in the end of the period before coronavirus," Mourinho said.

"He was in very bad condition in the last three or four matches. He played for five or 10 minutes against Burnley, he wasn't ready for Leipzig.

"Because of the rules, his injury isn't one in need of surgery, it needed daily treatment and close contacts with physios and fitness coaches, but that was not possible for about two months, he was injured and he couldn't recover from it.

"So, when the training ground opened and he started treatment. It was not enough to have him 100 per cent fit - only in the past days was he training with the team.

"Available for tomorrow? Yes, I think so, but we will test if he is going to play 90 minutes, start the game or not. It was a difficult process for him."

The Friday clash at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium could prove pivotal for both teams' Champions League aspirations.

Spurs, who are eighth, go into the match four points adrift of fifth-placed United, who will be looking to go level with fourth-place Chelsea, at least until Sunday, with a victory.

Frank Lampard slammed VAR as "not good enough" after Giovani Lo Celso avoided a red card for an awful challenge on Cesar Azpilicueta in Chelsea's win over Tottenham.

The Blues ran out 2-1 winners at Stamford Bridge, with goals from Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso before Antonio Rudiger put through his own net as Spurs threatened a scarcely deserved fightback.

But prior to Tottenham's goal, the visitors might have been reduced to 10 men as Lo Celso might have been dismissed after planting his studs into Azpilicueta's shin.

VAR assessed the incident and decided against a card, although it was reported the official concerned later backtracked on this opinion.

The failure to make the correct call at the time did little to improve the mood of head coach Lampard, who was furious with the challenge.

"It's not good enough. It's not good enough, I'm sorry," he told BT Sport. "It's two VARs now in two games [after two goals were disallowed in the defeat to Manchester United].

"It's harder to speak about it when you've lost because people are claiming you're just shouting, but maybe you need to shout, because that's not good enough.

"Everybody in the football world saw that that was a red. And it's too late, too late to do that. The game should be over [at 2-0].

"I hate to call for red cards, but when they're endangering... That's a leg-breaker of a tackle.

"You get VAR brought into the game to see it and give the right decision. I'm not saying anything about the referees on the spot - it's not easy  on the spot - VAR's here to clear those up. I'm not surprised they've put it right, but it's not good enough."

Opposite number Jose Mourinho had little to add, although he saw acknowledgement of mistakes from the officials as progress.

"I feel sorry that they don't admit [mistakes] more times, especially when things go against us," he said. "I don't want to speak about it [VAR]."

Lampard was rather more positive about Chelsea's application, suggesting they had set standards to take forward in terms of their intensity.

"The aggression in our game, the pressing off the ball, the work-rate [was aggressive]," he said. "We've been having a tough time at home for different reasons.

"And when you're having tough times, there's only one option, and that's to fight. Sometimes, fighting [when it is] difficult, hanging on in the last few minutes when you shouldn't have been, those are the moments.

"We have to bottle that up now, that feeling, understanding that needs to be our behaviour daily. The way we played today needs to be our daily behaviour in training and the games coming up."

Giovani Lo Celso has said he now feels completely comfortable at Tottenham following a bumpy introduction to the Premier League.

The Argentina international lost almost two months to a hip injury in the early part of his Spurs career and the manager who brought him in on loan from Real Betis, Mauricio Pochettino, was sacked in November.

Yet suggestions crafty left-footer Lo Celso might not fit under new boss Jose Mourinho have been quashed through a run of four consecutive starts.

Tottenham turned his temporary stay into a permanent, long-term contract on Tuesday, enabling the midfielder to look forward with optimism.

"Right now I'm really enjoying the moment of being at such a big club like Spurs," Lo Celso told the Guardian.

"In the beginning it wasn't so easy for me. I was coming to a new league, a new language, a new culture, and then I got injured shortly after arriving. But right now I couldn't feel better."

The 23-year-old's ability to unlock opposition defences became more valuable to Spurs when Christian Eriksen finally completed a long-rumoured move to Inter.

Lo Celso distanced himself from comparisons with the Danish playmaker and instead set his focus on beating Manchester City on Sunday.

"We know that it's going to be a really difficult match against a team with fantastic players who have been at the top of the game for the last few years," he said.

"But for us it's really important to win and to put a good performance out there and take home the three points.

"We're at a big club. We've got high expectations. We go out to win all our matches.

"Now, of course, we are coming up against a big opponent but we know we have all the weapons to hurt them and win the match."

Tottenham have completed the permanent signing of Giovani Lo Celso, who has signed a contract until 2025.

Spurs boss Jose Mourinho revealed on Saturday the club were poised to convert the 23-year-old's initial loan move from Real Betis into a full switch, saying the player's form had made it "an easy decision".

The move was completed on Tuesday, just as the sale of Christian Eriksen to Inter was officially confirmed.

"We are delighted to announce that we have exercised the option to convert the loan of Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis to a permanent transfer," read Tottenham's statement.

"Gio has signed a contract with the club until 2025.

"The midfielder has produced impressive performances after establishing himself in the team following a hip injury which restricted his playing time in the early part of his loan."

A superb individual run from Lo Celso helped to set up Spurs' goal as Son Heung-min struck in the 1-1 FA Cup fourth-round draw against Southampton, a game in which he also had a goal disallowed.

After the impressive performance, Mourinho had said: "It's not an obligation [to sign him], it's an option, but I think the boy is earning the decision. 

"He's making an easy decision for the club to execute the option. Incredible evolution since I arrived.

"Barely played a game [before I arrived], I think he played against Red Star Belgrade and with me it was a little bit difficult to come in the first few weeks.

"But he understood what we wanted. Good learner, good kid and I think by himself he made the decision that the club is going to execute the option. That's normal, he earned it."

Jose Mourinho says the form of Giovani Lo Celso is giving Tottenham "an easy decision" to sign him on a permanent basis.

A superb individual run from Lo Celso helped to set up Spurs' goal as Son Heung-min struck in the 1-1 FA Cup fourth-round draw against Southampton on Saturday.

The 23-year-old also had a goal disallowed and Mourinho is sure he has done enough to earn a permanent place at Spurs, having initially joined on a season-long loan from Real Betis, with an option to buy.

Mourinho said: "It's not an obligation, it's an option. I think the boy is earning the decision. 

"He's making an easy decision for the club to execute the option. Incredible evolution since I arrived.

"Barely played a game [before I arrived], I think he played against Red Star Belgrade and with me it was a little bit difficult to come in the first few weeks.

"But he understood what we wanted. Good learner, good kid and I think by himself he made the decision that the club is going to execute the option. That's normal, he earned it."

Son, meanwhile, has netted in back-to-back matches at a time where star striker Harry Kane is out injured.

Mourinho, whose side will now play an FA Cup replay against Saints, added of Son: "All of the attacking players need this happiness of scoring goals. 

"In the first half he had one easier than the goal he scored, facing the keeper the angle was good, the shot was good but for inches he missed. 

"It is a good goal, an important goal, so it is good for him.

"Playing a replay will affect [our mid-season break] a little bit. There is one more match we have to play. It is not a personal situation, Ralph Hasenhuttl was telling me the same, we don't need one more match. 

"But I think both me and him prefer to play again than to be out. No drama, let's go."

Page 1 of 2
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.