For all the talk of Tottenham Hotspur embarking on a huge spending spree should they sell Gareth Bale to Real Madrid for a world record fee, trying to identify attainable players who could replace the Welsh forward at White Hart Lane is a nigh on impossible task.
One name that has been mentioned is Roma’s 21-year-old forward Erik Lamela, who enjoyed a superb year at the Italian club last season, scoring fifteen times in Serie A.
Lamela is a fantastic talent, and it will be incredibly difficult to convince Roma to sell him at any price, but Arsenal might make a Spurs move for the Argentine easier by selling Gervinho to the Italian team this summer.
The move has been mooted for some time, but recent reports have suggested that Arsenal and Roma are close to agreeing an £8million fee for Gervinho, who has failed to impress since moving to the Premier League in 2011.
Although the Ivorian would not be a like for like replacement for Lamela, Gervinho is adaptable enough to play in plenty of positions that would help Roma maintain their attacking threat without the 21-year-old.
Spurs’ new director Franco Baldini will be well aware of the quality of Lamela, having spent the past few seasons on the board at Roma, and with Andre Villas-Boas apparently planning to change to a 4-3-3 formation next season, with Bale on the right of the attack, the Argentine would be a natural replacement for the 24-year-old.
Villas-Boas’ comments after the friendly defeat to Monaco indicate that Spurs still have every intention of keeping hold of Bale this summer, but if Real Madrid do make them an offer too good to refuse, then they will need to move quickly to find replacements for the Welsh forward.
Although Lamela is young and relatively unproven, he would be a name near the top of many people’s shortlist to replace Bale, and Arsenal might make a move for the Argentine a little easier for their neighbours this summer by selling Gervinho to Roma.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald