As if Tim Sherwood didn’t have it tough enough with everyone hanging on his every word, looking to mould his most carefully constructed musings on the beautiful game into another reason we should all point and laugh at him, he’s now got the Tottenham head-honchos telling him to give Erik Lamela a game.
The much-maligned Argentine is yet to kick a ball under the current Spurs supremo, but the Daily Telegraph reports that Daniel Levy and co are exercising the dark art of arm-twisting as a means to remedy this.
A price of 9/20 says the Lilywhites get the better of London foes Fulham in their next outing, a game that Lamela won’t feature in due to injury.
Sherwood had previously stated that the club’s record signing is unlikely to play again this season on account of a recurring back complaint, but the 22-year-old is due to return to training next week and the club’s fat cats are keen to see him given time in the middle to hasten his adapting to Premier League rigours.
This will undoubtedly be as welcome with the no nonsense gaffer as James Bond at a super-villain convention, but there are plenty of reasons why Lamela should be selected.
Here are a few of them:
In his final year at Roma he scored at a rate of exactly one goal in every two starts.
The net was rustled courtesy of Lamela’s doing in half of the 30 games in which he made the Giallorossi’s team sheet.
Such a haul was enough to propel him to joint-fifth in the calcio scoring charts for the previous campaign – not bad for a man playing on the wing for an also-ran outfit at the time.
Starting Lamela out wide allows Christian Eriksen to move back into his most devastating position.
The Danish orchestrator has been effective playing from the left, but his creativity would be best utilised in a central berth where he’d have more freedom to roam.
Lamela proved in Italy that he can be a provider for his teammates, laying on five assists during his final campaign at the Olimpico, so nothing would be lost moving the former Ajax man inside.
A string of big Spurs signings have a history of taking their time to get going.
Luka Modric was hugely underwhelming following his megabucks move from Dinamo Zagreb before flourishing in a central midfield role that earned him a £30m move to Real Madrid.
Then there’s Gareth Bale, who the Lilywhites sold in the summer for £86m; he made 24 Premier League appearances before sampling his first win in Tottenham colours.
Based on how well this pair did, it’d be madness not to allow Lamela the time to shine between now and the end of next season.