The Argentine winger arrived with a massive reputation when he joined the North London club from Roma in a club-record transfer last year, but failed live up to his hype, as his first campaign with English football was hit with injuries and inconsistency.
Omission from Argentina’s final 23-man World Cup Squad didn’t help Erik Lamela’s cause either, which ultimately led to a lack of confidence.
Lamela admitted to have felt lonely at the beginning of his Spurs career. For my part, it was understandable, given that he had to settle into life in a new city and adapt to a different league. It wasn’t simple for a fledgling foreign player like him.
December 29 was the last time he played for his club. Now, Lamela returned to make an appearance during their pre-season encounter with Seattle Sounders, featuring as a half-time substitute.
Lamela was only present on nine occasions during the Premier League, only starting a mere three times, and was linked with a move back to Italy.
Currently, the 22-year-old has been given a chance to verify his value by new boss Mauricio Pochettino and then bagged a brace in a 3-2 pre-season friendly triumph over Toronto FC.
To be honest, that’s not a bad start at all, considering what he’s been through.
After scoring against Celtic yesterday to take his pre-season tally to three goals, its evident Lamela will play a pivotal role for his outfit this season.
Pochettino is willing to believe in the former River Plate youngster, and I concur. Lamela ought to be given an opportunity to prove his prestige. Then, he’ll become the focal point at White Hart Lane.
Lamela needs a manager to develop his talent and Pochettino certainly fits the bill. He has a proven track record with breakthrough performers. For instance Luke Shaw, who showed the league what he was made of and his adventurous style of play, eventually earned him a dream move to Manchester United.
I’m expecting great things for Lamela this season, he’s an incredible player and he’ll demonstrate to Spurs that he can become their main man.
Under the guidance of his countryman Pochettino, he will certainly impress in his favoured No. 10 role. Lamela is a player who flourishes on making the most of empty channels. His movement centrally is direct and has a major influence on his team’s end product. Albeit Harry Kane, Emmanuel Adebayor or Roberto Soldado, they will all profit from Lamela’s creativity further forward and apply the finishing touch up front.
Tottenham are blessed with genuine pace, when advancing forward in transition. Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend come to mind. Not to mention, inventiveness in the final third. Christian Eriksen and Lewis Holtby the key instigators in that case. Allied with Lamela’s return to form as the central figure, the N17 Lilywhites contingent has every purpose to approach the forthcoming term with improved buoyancy.
Meanwhile, their leaky backline has already been shaken up with the arrival of Welsh full-back Ben Davies and the new contracts for Danny Rose and Hugo Lloris, coupled with the emergence of Ezekiel Fryers, that should surely shore up troubles at the rearguard and lead to Lamela having faith in his teammates.
The best is yet to come from Erik Lamela and it’s only a matter of time before he repays the fee Tottenham splashed the cash for.
Without injury and finally inured to the rigours of the Premier League, Lamela will undoubtedly be vital to his side’s aspirations for a Champions League spot, or even the title as Pochettino suggested he is aiming for. He can rise to play a prominent part for Spurs, starting now. In my opinion, he and Pochettino could turn out to be a partnership made in paradise.
By Okari – (@VanChosenJuan)
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