Erik Lamela made his return from injury after just over a year since his last appearance. The Argentine made an instant impact getting an assist with his third touch in the defeat against Leicester. Lamela’s cameo was the paragon of what Tottenham have been missing in recent games. Tottenham have struggled to break sides down, often missing that ‘magic touch’ that the usually reliable Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli have not been providing of late. Manager Mauricio Pochettino will be hopeful that the £30 million signing from Roma can continue his pre-injury form and be the catalyst that kick-starts Tottenham’s season.
Can Erik Lamela kick-start Tottenham’s Season?
Tottenham’s forwards have been performing well below par this term. Only Harry Kane and Heung Min Son have given performances anywhere near their best ability. Christian Eriksen looks exhausted with no one else in the squad able to fill his position with any degree of similarity.
This is one of the key area’s that Lamela will be able to fill in as he is the most natural replacement for Eriksen whenever the Dane requires a rest. Eriksen has only contributed two assists in the league this season. Considering how talented he is, this is an abysmal return. Dele Alli has also been performing below expectations The English midfielder has not been getting the service he is used to with Toby Alderweireld’s ability to unlock defences with neat chips over the top missing in recent weeks. Alli and Kane will be the two main benefactors of Lamela’s return.
Erik Lamela, the Creator
Erik Lamela is one of the most creative players in the Tottenham squad. In his last full season with the club, he recorded nine assists and created 75 chances in total.
This injection of creativity will feel like a new signing for Pochettino. Harry Kane has been starved of service in recent weeks and has been forced to go deeper into the field to gain possession. Kane was the recipient of the Lamela assist against Leicester and it was the first half-decent chance he had all game, which he smashed into the roof of the net without hesitation. Tottenham fans will be hoping to see a lot more of this combination.
Pochettino has recently stated that Erik Lamela was one of the quickest to adapt to his high press style of play. His fellow Argentine has a natural work rate which is perfect for Pochettino’s style.
However, many of Lamela’s critics deem him too reckless and he sometimes runs about like a ‘headless chicken’. Pochettino’s high energy style, though, is one of the reasons that Eriksen has been so poor in recent weeks. The return of Lamela will help with Eriksen’s total workload and give Pochettino the opportunity to rest him when needed.
Although often a frustrating figure, Lamela will inject flair and quality into the Tottenham side. His work rate and creativity will give the manager much-needed options as well as give him the chance to rest and rotate players when required.
The Argentine has impressed in the brief spells that he has played since his comeback and everyone at Tottenham will hope to see this form long-term.