From Flop to the Top: Erik Lamela

Erik Lamela Spursforlife

In the summer of 2013, Tottenham Hotspur sold star winger Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a then world record fee of £85.1 million.

At the time, the move was lauded as ludicrous by the London club and a sure sign that Tottenham was a selling club and would never reach the upper echelons of European football.

With cash in the bank, Tottenham went on a spending spree in the hope of propelling the club to the next level.

In came, Etienne Capoue, Roberto Soldado, Nacer Chadli, Paulinho, Vlad Chiriches, and of course Erik Lamela and the belief was then-manager Andre Villas-Boas had the ability and squad to challenge for the Premier League title.

However, it did not quite work out that way as three-months later the club had sacked the former Porto and Chelsea manager with the club lying in seventh.

Despite the clubs position hardly being a disaster, results were not up to scratch that was largely down to the bulk of the new signings failing to hit the ground running especially Erik Lamela.

So, what happened next? And how did the boy from Argentina go from Tottenham flop to Spurs superstar?

Lamela really came to the fore during his two-year stint at Roma.

Throughout 2012/13, Lamela netted 15 goals for I Giallorossi which thrust him into the spotlight with Tottenham at the front of the queue to lead the Lilywhite revolution in 2013/14.

£30 million Levy and co coughed up to prise Lamela from Roma and bring him to London but a lackluter start under Villas-Boas led the manager to claim Lamela was not performing what he was capable of.

Injury ended his debut campaign a month early after just nine Premier League appearances making the winger look an overwhelming flop.

Mauricio Pochettino

However, in came countryman Mauricio Pochettino as manager and following season saw Lamela make 33 league appearances whilst bagging a couple of Premier League strikes.

Suddenly, the so-called expensive flop was starting to pay back some of his lofty fee with performances on the pitch.

2015/16 was the ground-breaking season for Lamela at White Hart Lane as well as with Argentina making eight appearances for his country scoring twice whilst bagging five Premier League goals in 34 appearances in a Spurs shirt.

Just as the winger was starting to deliver on his promise, a hip injury in October ended his 2017/18 campaign.

The following season was about returning to fitness after a year out but the Argentine still managed to record 31 appearances with flashes of undeniable skill on display.

With his quality not in doubt, Lamela signed a new   four-year-contract with Tottenham in the summer of 2018 and has since gone onto playing arguably the best football of his career with four goals in the opening half of the season whilst being a regular in Pochettino’s ongoing success story.

At just 26, Lamela is coming into the prime of his footballing life and Spurs have made a shrewd move retaining his services for another four years.

Despite early doubts, £30 million is suddenly looking a real bargain and it is almost impossible to think what Spurs would do without the winger.   

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