With Townsend and Lamela struggling, did Spurs make a costly mistake in January?

Tottenham Hotspur's decision to loan Aaron Lennon to Everton is coming back to haunt them already.

After Tottenham's 2-2 draw with West Ham United, many Spurs fans said they felt the game was lost when they saw Andros Townsend and Erik Lamela starting on opposite flanks.

They didn't lose to West Ham in the end, of course, but they did everything they could to ensure defeat for a good 80 minutes.

Townsend and Lamela, meanwhile, seemed to do absolutely everything they could to stop Tottenham from getting back into the game.

The latter struggled for an hour before once again being hauled off without an assist or noteworthy contribution, while 22-year-old Lamela's contribution was aptly dissected by former Spurs chairman Alan Sugar after the game.

But, with such frustrating wingers on show against West Ham, why ever did Tottenham let Aaron Lennon join Everton on loan in January?

  AssistsChances Created (per game)Crossing AccuracyDribbles Won (per game)AppearancesMinutes Played
Erik Lamela 5 1.7 34% 2 23 1,699
Aaron Lennon 2 0.83 20% 0.42 12 470
Andros Townsend 1 0.8 12% 0.3 10 442

Lennon may have frustrated and offered a predictability about his play - but he was still far more effective than Townsend, as Opta stats show. Lamela outshines the Everton loanee statistically yet, after a performance like yesterday's against West Ham, it's clear he too is a weak link at present. Lamela down the left and Townsend on the right certainly doesn't make any sense...

The problem for Mauricio Pochettino is not that he necessarily loaned out the wrong winger. Why loan one out at all?

With Fiorentina in the Europa League, Chelsea in the Capital One Cup and a Premier League run-in as challenging as ever at the business end of the campaign, Tottenham needed all the options they could get.

Especially with their wingers struggling so badly at the moment.

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