Tottenham’s club record signing Erik Lamela posted a picture on social media site Instagram doing running exercises as his presence at the World Cup in Brazil this summer with Argentina hangs dangerously in the balance.
The 22-year-old Spurs winger signed to the North Londoners for a club record fee of £30 million this summer but has since garnered a reputation as a ‘flop’ for his unconvincing performances early on.
The Argentina international enjoyed a superb season last term at Roma where he scored 15 goals and made 6 assists in the Italian capital. The young winger has failed to replicate his fine form for Tottenham in the Premier League under either Andre Villas-Boas who was dismissed in December from his post at White Hart Lane or his replacement coach Tim Sherwood.
Lamela has managed just one solitary goal for Spurs this season, in the Europa League and four assists in all competitions but has yet to score a Premier League goal. His form has been a concern at White Hart Lane where he has become something of an outcast under the new coach Sherwood.
Since Villas-Boas’ departure in December, Lamela has started just one game for Tottenham in the Premier League against Southampton in Sherwood’s first game in charge. Since then he has featured as a substitute twice prior to his back injury that has seen him sidelined for the last 10 games.
The youngster had broken through into the senior Argentina squad in 2011 making his debut in a friendly against Paraguay but his hopes of making it to the World Cup this summer hinge upon both his fitness and form – his Argentina coach Nacho Campoo responded to the video posted of him exercising on a running machine: "Erik #Lamela for a place in the World Cup."
The attacker with undoubted talent and potential has just over two months left to get back to full fitness and prove himself worthy of a place in Alejandro Sabella’s Argentina squad but the only way to achieve that will likely be by impressing Tim Sherwood at White Hart Lane.