On December 28th, rumors of an Erik Lamela loan deal away from Tottenham Hotspur came to fruition in the Daily Mirror. With reports suggesting Spurs were in contact with Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid, many a Tottenham fan began to question the significance of an apparent deal. Was it necessary? Would it benefit the development of the Argentine? The answer to both is most likely no. With the Premier League proving fiercer than ever and even harder to break into, a spell away from the English league would not help Lamela adapt to the harsher conditions of the Barclays Premier League.
But further questions can be raised. Why were said rumors even existent? Most likely because the Argentinian had not lived up to his record breaking £30million transfer to White Hart Lane so far. I can recall one performance from the former Roma winger that has truly taken my breath away, that being his show stopping game against FC Sheriff in the Europa League. In front of a packed White Hart Lane crowd, Lamela showed skill, fight, and drive to produce a goal and an assist, flourishing under the midweek lights of London.
The performance led many a LilyWhite fan to say, “this man has something special,” because it seemed that he would have a future in N17. Continued from said game, he has shown glimpses of skill and power, however the away win at Southampton under Tim Sherwood highlighted weakness and a lack of composure within the winger.
So why hasn’t he adapted as expected? The majority of Tottenham’s summer signings have tucked into their roles just fine, with some (especially Vlad Chiriches) showing that they have the skill to slip into a Premier League side with ease. Lamela just doesn’t seem to click with his teammates. There is something that just doesn’t tick and this could be through no fault of his own, he just doesn’t seem to connect well with the flow of the English division.
His performance against West Brom on Boxing Day highlighted his desperation to find a home under the lights of White Hart Lane, considering that towards the final few minutes, the Argentine took to simulation in order to claw a chance for his team. This is why the media have a taken to loan rumors in order to muster up a way to get the very best from Lamela - a potential loan move that could help his development.
Statistically, Lamela does not make for pretty reading. Against Southampton, he managed just one shot on goal, attempted to take on a man just four times and performed an abysmal 15 passes. That is awful considering the man carries the label of Tottenham’s record signing. To console the youngster, he does not speak English and is very young. It took him almost a full season to adapt to the fluidity and pace of the Italian league, so what did we expect?
We can all sit here and claim: “for £30million I could score a goal or two,” but in the case of Lamela, reports suggesting a move away from London are rash and harsh on the youngster. Tottenham fans can sit and pray for similar games to the 2-1 beating of FC Sheriff, and under the new, stricter Tim Sherwood, potentially his development will take greater strides forward. However, if this level continues, reports that Tottenham are moving for a loan deal with European heavyweights may become more common in this crazy age of media intervention.
Written by Sean Cook