Erik Lamela’s impudent ‘Rabona’ strike from outside the box for Tottenham against Asteras Tripolis offered the wider footballing world a tantalising reminder of his existence.
Yet in pulling off that sublime piece skill the sudden blinding flash of extreme talent also reminded news.bwin.com/en/ of another slow-to-the-boil Premier League idol…
None other than former Manchester United heartthrob turned globe-straddling ‘Galactico’ Cristiano Ronaldo, who arrived in the north west aged 18.
The man from Madeira flattered to deceive throughout a first season at Old Trafford as he got to grips with how best to utilise his talent in the business of winning matches.
After an exciting debut appearance in 2003/04 against Bolton, he struggled to routinely reach the heights thereafter until that season’s FA Cup final against an out-of-their-depth Millwall.
CR7 was afforded 21 starts that season too, a good deal more than the eight chances Lamela got to get his oar in from the off.
It was not until three campaigns into his Red Devils career that he broke ten goals in all competitions, while he went 26 Champions League games for them without finding the net.
Unlike successive Spurs managers before Mauricio Pochettino did with Lamela, Sir Alex Ferguson continued to give Ronaldo a healthy amount of minutes despite the capricious nature of his early displays.
It’s a more trusting approach that the former Roma man’s countryman is at last applying with the 22-year-old at White Hart Lane.
Making the XI for last night’s Europa League clash with the Greeks, marked the point at which he eclipsed his total starts for last season.
With two goals and two assists inside his last five appearances it appears Pochettino’s policy is paying off.
Lamela is 6/1 to score first against Newcastle next time out or 2/1 to score at anytime.