How Tottenham's 22-year-old struggler showed his willingness to learn against Sheffield United

Erik Lamela showed a willingness to compete in the physical battle for Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

Tottenham Hotspur's Erik Lamela may not have become the dazzling winger that many had hoped he would be at White Hart Lane, but against Sheffield United on Wednesday he did at least show another side to his game.

Lamela was brought to Spurs to be their main attacking outlet. At Roma, his previous club, he had troubled defences across Serie A, with his direct running and skill proving to be a nightmare for opponents.

It was expected that he would provide a similar threat at Spurs, but he has failed to really ignite and his form has been patchy at best.

The Argentine has struggled to get to grips with English football, but he is certainly showing a willingness to learn and that was on full display at Bramall Lane.

Generally a poor performance from Lamela means that he is a worthless entity on the pitch. When he first arrived he would be on the periphery of games and if his skill was not on show then he offered nothing else to the team.

Against Sheffield United, though, the youngster showed his ability to defend. He was thriving off the physical battle and, whereas he may have shied away from tackles before, was getting stuck in against Tottenham's League One opponents.

It was a performance which is unlikely to receive much attention, but it highlights that he is becoming increasingly valuable to the team and if he continues to put in a shift, then his failure to find his best attacking form can be forgiven.

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