Is it time that Tottenham unleashed Erik Lamela?

The north London club’s record signing is yet to start a Premier League game, as Andre Villas-Boas eases him into English football gently – but when will he get his chance to shine?

Such is the quality and quantity of attacking options available to Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas, the club’s record signing Erik Lamela has not had a Premier League look-in since his bumper £30m move to north London over the summer.

The Portuguese trainer has stated that the Argentina international will be given time to acclimatise to his new environment, and will not be rushed into the team before he is ready. As such, the former Roma star’s only starts for the White Hart Lane to date have been in the Europa League and Capital One Cup.

However, you do not sign a player for so much money to see him sit on the bench every week. Lamela has been earmarked as Gareth Bale’s replacement at the club and of the new signings over the summer he has the most similar skillset to Real Madrid’s Welsh star. His pace, trickery, technique and eye for goal were apparent in the Italian capital last term and it is clear that if he reaches his potential at Tottenham he will be a star.

In Villas-Boas’ 4-2-3-1 system, Lamela is likely to operate on the right flank when given his chance, with Christian Eriksen playing in the number ten role and Lewis Holtby as his deputy. The South American has been behind homegrown talent Andros Townsend in the pecking order, with Gylfi Sigurdsson or Nacer Chadli operating on the left.

Tottenham fans are seemingly split in their opinion of Townsend. There is no doubt that it is great to see a young English player that has graduated from the club’s youth system getting a chance in a multi-million pound squad. Due to early season form, Townsend has also forced his way into the England national reckoning.

Townsend has displayed pace and trickery this term, and in some of Spurs’ fixtures has been the side’s most dangerous player. However, the winger can be guilty of turning inside to shoot from distance when other options are more fitting and has a tendency to keep the ball for too long.

With Spurs only netting six goals in their first seven Premier League games, it is clear that there is something slightly missing in the final third. The introduction of Lamela could well be the spark that the north Londoners need to ignite the immense attacking talent now at Villas-Boas’ disposal.

It may seem slightly harsh to drop a player that has recently been inducted to the England squad, while Sigurdsson has netted three times this term. One way or the other, Lamela is a superstar in the making and Tottenham will be a more dangerous side once the Argentine is deemed ready to start for the side.

Do you think Lamela should be brought into the Tottenham team? And if so, who should he replace?

image: © hollidaypics

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