Jose Mourinho insisted Giovani lo Celso’s lack of sharpness was evident in Tottenham’s win over Ludogorets Razgrad.
Lo Celso is looking to re-establish himself after injury and scored in Spurs’ 3-1 Europa League victory in Bulgaria.
But boss Mourinho was critical of the player’s work off the ball.
“Good with the ball and not very good without the ball,” was Mourinho’s verdict on the Argentine’s display.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Mourinho suggested it will take some time for Lo Celso to get back up to speed.
“His physical condition is not good. He didn’t have a pre-season,” he said.
“Before the end of the previous season he had problems and didn’t train in that period where other guys were training.
“So his preparation has been up and down. It’s coming now, step by step.
“I feel that when he plays he is not the Geo that we know. We know he can be an amazing player.
“With the ball, of course great criteria and he knows what he is doing and understands the way we want to play.
“But we need more intensity. We need him to be fitter, more intense, and to be stronger in transitions.
“It was a great training session to improve his match fitness.”