Despite arriving at White Hart Lane in August, winger Erik Lamela is already being linked with a move away - but Tottenham would be mad to let him go.
Lamela was bought for £30m from Serie A side Roma, and the intention was for the 21 year old to fill the void left by Gareth Bale, who completed a world record £86m switch to Real Madrid over the summer.
But the Argentine has struggled to settle in Britain, and manager Andre Villas-Boas has limited Lamela to just one Premier League start – the 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Manchester City. And now, with the World Cup on the horizon, Lamela is also being linked with a move to the Spanish capital – but he would be going up against Bale, as it's Atletico who want to bring him in.
Recent reports emanating from Spain suggest that Atletico boss Diego Simeone is looking to land compatriot Lamela on a six month loan deal, paving the way for Koke to leave the club, with Liverpool and Manchester United both interested in signing the midfielder.
But would Spurs really allow their big summer signing to leave the club after only four months?
It often takes some foreign players some time to adjust to the way of playing in the Premier League – just look at the case of Lucas Leiva at Liverpool. The fellow South American arrived at Anfield from Gremio in 2007, and was regularly a scapegoat for Reds fans after some mediocre displays. But after a period of adjustment, Lucas is now a key player for Brendan Rodgers, with his play in front of the back four crucial to Liverpool's success.
Villas-Boas is under enough pressure as it is, and allowing his £30m capture to leave the club after less than six months would not only be terrible PR, but Tottenham will need as much quality as they can get, with Champions League qualification still on their agenda despite a recent tough period.
Lamela is still firmly in Villas-Boas' plans, not just for the rest of this season but for years to come. It's not often you can attract a player of Lamela's quality when you don't play in the Champions League, and Spurs will need a strong contribution from him to secure a top four place – loaning him out is not the answer, as he will still be away from England rather than adapting to the culture and language of the capital.
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