Tottenham may have made a mistake with player Lionel Messi thinks 'is like Luis Suarez'

Tottenham starlet Alejo Veliz has struggled on loan at Sevilla in the second half of this season (Image: Getty)

Tottenham have potentially wasted six months of Alejo Veliz’s development with a poor loan spell at Sevilla. The Argentine, who is highly-rated by countryman Lionel Messi, has played just 23 minutes for the Spanish side since joining them in a temporary deal in January.

Spurs felt that Veliz should continue his progression at a club where he could feature prominently in the second half of the season. The striker impressed during cameos under Ange Postecoglou before Christmas but did not start a Premier League game.

Sevilla were picked as the club that would best serve Veliz’s development. It was felt that he could play regularly in a team battling to keep their head above water in La Liga.

However, the loan has not entirely gone to plan. Veliz joined the club with a knee injury and has been carefully nursed back to full fitness.

Alejo Veliz (right) had played just 23 minutes of La Liga football prior to Saturday (Image: Getty)

It is unlikely that he could break into Sevilla’s starting 11 for the remainder of the campaign. Prior to the club’s clash with Getafe on Saturday, Veliz had made just three La Liga appearances and had been unused in their previous two matches. His appearances had amounted to just 23 minutes.

According to a report by ABC Sevilla, the club’s head coach, Quique Sanchez Flores, has decided not to rely on loan players including Veliz and Manchester United playmaker Hannibal Mejbri.

That is despite Barcelona and Argentina icon Messi comparing the attacker to his Inter Miami team-mate Luis Suarez. Messi was asked about the future of Argentine football in the months after their World Cup triumph in December 2022.

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Lionel Messi compared Tottenham striker Alejo Veliz to Luis Suarez (Image: Getty)

“[Roman] Vega, [Maximo] Perrone, and especially Veliz,” Messi said of Argentina’s best young players. “Watching him play reminds me of what Suarez used to play like. I am very excited for the future of this country, and hope I can be an influence to these people, and talk to them.”

Spurs signed Veliz in a £12million deal from Argentine outfit Rosario Central last summer. He scored one Premier League goal in eight appearances before departing in January.

It is likely that Spurs could seek another loan exit for Veliz in the summer. With the player struggling for minutes in Spain, a domestic spell could be sought to ensure Spurs have slightly more control over his progress.