The Bosnian star is playing a key role for Roma this term in Serie A, while the Argentine continues to wait for his first Premier League start.
Tottenham got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Aston Villa on Sunday, but one man was conspicuous by his continued absence.
Club record signing Erik Lamela was once more named amongst the White Hart Lane substitutes and was not given a chance to show his abilities.
Andre Villas-Boas has admitted that he is easing the South American into life in north London gently, but Lamela has only chalked up 68 minutes of Premier League action from the bench so far this term.
The former River Plate prodigy cost Spurs a cool £30 million from Roma, who seem to be a better team without him. This term, the Italian capital city side have won all eight of their Serie A fixtures, and have a five-point gap at the top of the division.
One of the stars for Rudy Garcia’s men this term has been a player that Spurs scouts also know well. Miralem Pjanic was touted as a potential summer transfer target for Villas-Boas, but Tottenham opted to sign Lamela instead.
The Bosnia international has had a wonderful start to the season, starting every game for his club. The former Lyon midfielder has netted three times, including a brace against second-placed Napoli on Friday night, and also provided three assists.
At national level, Pjanic has been a driving force behind Bosnia’s excellent recent form and a key reason that the eastern European nation have qualified for the World Cup for the first time.
Roma have been willing to sell some of their bigger-name players, such as Lamela, Pablo Osvaldo and Marquinhos, but over the summer both Pjanic’s agent and the club stated that the Bosnian was not for sale.
It is clear that Pjanic has a bright future ahead of him on the European stage, and is already proving to be one of the most technically gifted and dynamic attacking midfielders in Italy.
Looking at the strength in depth in the Spurs squad, Lamela’s has a job on his hands to buck the current brend. He is likely to get an opportunity to show what he is capable of as Villas-Boas’ men make the unglamorous trip to Moldova to take on FC Sheriff on Thursday night, but with Andros Townsend in form and Aaron Lennon back available, an uphill struggle lies in wait for Lamela.
image: © Damien Cansse