£30m Tottenham newbie watches drab 0-0 draw from the bench

Erik Lamela was subjected to a woeful 0-0 draw between Ecuador and Argentina in New Jersey last night.

This summer Andre Villas Boas embarked in a complete overhaul of his Tottenham Hotspur first-team - in particular he needed to replace the outgoing Gareth Bale, one player who obviously was never going to be easy to replace, so instead he signed lots of players - the sum of all parts and all that jazz.

But if you were to suggest any of his newbies were close to being similar in style and stature to Bale you would have to say it was their most expensive arrival - Erik Lamela.

The forward arrived for an overall fee of £30 million this summer from Italian outfit AS Roma - becoming Tottenham’s third record signing in the space of a month, and bringing with him a burgeoning reputation as one of South America’s next greatest talents.

But he also arrived with a niggling fitness worry and not speaking a word of English - which are both problems it seems have made his start to English football difficult.

Up until recently he has certainly struggled - just seeming slightly off the pace of the English game and spending most his Premier League time on the bench, as AVB waits for him to be ready.

Recently he showed glimpses of his undoubted excellence in a goal-scoring man of the match display against Sheriff Tiraspol in the UEFA Europa League - and he would have been hoping to carry that form into the international break.

With Lionel Messi injured there was certainly even more chance of him featuring for Argentina in their friendly against fellow COMNEBOL members Ecuador yesterday.

However what followed must have been a slow form of torture. In a drab and dreary contest, which ended in a 0-0 draw, Lamela had to watch on for 90 minutes while the likes of Ezequiel Lavezzi, Ricky Alvarez, Rodrigo Palacio, Sergio Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez all got the chance he didn’t in New Jersey.

Argentina next take on Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday in St Louis - and Lamela will expect action.

image: © thearcticblues

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