Erik Lamela has yet to become a hit on English shores since his move to Tottenham, but the Argentine is still a widely beloved figure in Italy.
His August 2013 sale to Spurs for £30 million left many Roma fans in a state of doom and gloom, having watched on of football’s brightest young stars depart the Stadio Olimpico.
The Giallorossi eventually went on to soar under Rudi Garcia in Lamela’s absence, though the fond memories of him in Serie A still haven’t quite faded for many.
Journalist Gianluigi Longari lamented Lamela’s difficult first season at White Hart Lane as an ‘unacceptable waste’ back in April, calling for him to be returned to Italy.
A Serie A comeback is a scenario that has long been posited for the 22-year-old, though Tottenham have never looked like allowing him to leave despite his struggles.
And the latest theory of many on how Lamela could head back to the peninsula looks to be yet another non-starter.
According to Sportmediaset, Juventus have contacted Tottenham with the intent of putting Sebastian Giovinco on the table in exchange for Lamela.
The problem is that such a deal wouldn’t make the slightest bit of sense – to the point that it’s doubtful Juventus would even approach Spurs with it.
Giovinco’s Bianconeri contract expires in June and he’s barely played this term, with plenty of swirling reports claiming that he’ll be gone from Turin come January.
That may well be true – but don’t count on him stepping in for Lamela. Giovinco is 27 and his career has stalled ever since he left Parma to return to childhood club Juventus in 2012, making just eight league starts between last season and the present term.
Lamela, meanwhile, is a £30 million 22-year-old who is just starting to find his feet with Spurs. After injury-hit disaster that was last season, he’s been a nailed-on starter under Maurico Pochettino and is at last settling in, even if he’s yet to hit top gear.
Sportmediaset report that Giovinco is replacement bait to tempt Spurs into allowing Juventus to acquire Lamela on loan with the right to make the move permanent down the road, the Argentine possibly landing in north Italy in January via this formula.
Simply, there’s not really anything in it for Spurs. Why they’d so easily give up Lamela at this moment in time for an inferior option of far less value is anyone’s guess.
If Lamela is to end up back in Serie A sometime soon – which remains wholly unlikely – this almost certainly won’t be the route by which he does so.
Tottenham would need a significant chunk of change to even think of giving up on their record signing 15 months on. On top of this, cash reserves aren’t currently abundant for Italian sides.
A swap involving Giovinco and Lamela would be one of the great transfer shocks of the recent past – and frankly, the chances of seeing it happen are beyond remote.