No official Spurs word as £26m man's future divides family

Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood has to decide whether to keep struggling winger, or allow him a short-term loan move.

Continually linked with a return to the league where he made his name, the future of Erik Lamela remains ambiguous.

Acquired in the summer market for a £26m fee with much fanfaronade, Lamela fulfilled the left forward role vacated by Gareth Bale and was regarded to be one of the marquee Premier League signings, however, perhaps encumbered by expectation, hype, or shackled by the difficulties acclimatising to a new environment, in a new division, with a new language to learn, are all factors to consider when fathoming why the talented Argentine has made sporadic appearances.

Not lost on the clubs in a division he lit up during his tenure at Roma, nor on each nation's respective media, Lamela has seen his name linked with Juventus, Lazio and Internazionale - all on short-term loan deals.

Speaking to Fox Sports adio del Plata, his father even said: 'Erik is not happy and he wants to go back to Italy. If he can go back to Roma? I don't know. The only thing that I know is that Tottenham doesn't want to let him go in January.'

Speaking on his social media network, his brother, Brian Lamela, calmed the transfer rumours, denying Erik would join Lazio while insisting that he was happy to stay at White Hart Lane and force his way into Tim Sherwood's team on merit.

Neither Spurs, Sherwood nor Lamela need to comment on the transfer stories but, considering the club host Crystal Palace in the 21st round of Premier League competition on Saturday, January 11, there may be an opportune moment to make a statement - on the pitch.

image: © thearcticblues

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch