The £30m fee associated with Erik Lamela's transfer fee from Roma to Tottenham Hotspur perhaps distorted the expectations of what he could provide the club in his debut season, particularly when he was effectively the replacement for world-record transfer breaking Gareth Bale.
In Lamela's final season in Serie A, he was responsible for 15 goals and five assists from 33 matches (2,597 minutes) in the division, a return rate of one goal/assist every 129 minutes. In contrast, his first year in the Premier League has thus far yielded a paltry return no goals but one assist in six Premier League appearances (239 minutes).
Reports in Spain, as speculated by British source The Express, state that Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is considering allowing Lamela a short-term loan move to Spain in order to restore confidence and ability in the player.
However, the likely destination - Atletico Madrid - could spell bad news for the club's own ambitions this season.
The prospective acquisition of Lamela, even though it would be short-term, could facilitate the exit of Koke Resurreccion who is a rumoured target of Manchester United, as David Moyes was even spotted at last night's Atletico victory over FC Porto, allegedly scouting the £20m midfielder.
Considering United's Premier League plight, their ambitions for the season may have been reassessed, with a top four position now a priority rather than retaining the crown.
As such, they will likely be battling sides like Liverpool, Everton and Spurs for one of the final four positions available that could secure Champions League football next season.
By sending Lamela on loan to Atletico, Tottenham may end up inadvertently strengthening a new rival…
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