Erik Lamela’s final chance to prove himself at Tottenham Hotspur arguably begins this evening when he starts in their Europa League opener against Qarabag at White Hart Lane.
The Argentine joined Tottenham from Roma for £25.7m in 2013, as BBC Sport reports, but has made little impression aside from this incredible ‘rabona’ goal in this competition last season.
According to the Daily Mail, the 23-year-old was poised to join Marseille in the summer before Mauricio Pochettino pulled the plug on the deal after failing to land West Bromwich Albion’s Saido Berahino.
Having remained at White Hart Lane, Pochettino has demanded that Lamela finally prove his worth.
BBC Sport quote him as saying: “I think this is a key season for him. After two seasons at Tottenham, now is the moment. We believe we can develop his game and I think we need to be patient with him.”
Lamela made an impact off the bench in the 1-0 victory over Sunderland at the weekend, providing Ryan Mason with the only goal as Spurs registered their first Premier League win of the season.
And Pochettino will be hoping for more from the winger tonight as he looks for members of his squad to step up in the absence of Harry Kane, who is rested ahead of Sunday’s match with Crystal Palace.
New signing Son Heung-Min takes Kane’s place through the middle, while fellow summer arrivals Kieran Trippier and Kevin Wimmer come in for their debuts. Clinton N’Jie is among the substitutes.
Tom Carroll makes his first Spurs start since 2012 for the visit of the Azerbaijani champions, who represent Tottenham’s easiest opponents in a group which also includes Monaco and Anderlecht.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 17, 2015
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