The Argentine international should be starting week in, week out for Tottenham Hotspur so he can get consistency in his game and work his magic.
Erik Lamela is a player who, for a long time, divided opinion among Tottenham Hotspur fans, and while that may still be the case to a degree he is certainly doing his best to win over the most hardened of critics.
On Thursday evening Lamela put in a wonderful – and devastating – display as his hat-trick helped Spurs to a 4-1 Europa League victory against AS Monaco, ensuring Mauricio Pochettino’s side finished top of their group heading into the knockout stages.
And while some of Tottenham’s other players are rated more highly than the Argentine international, it seems Pochettino’s faith could see him blossom into the superstar that his initial price-tag suggested he would be.
It is interesting to note that while Lamela scored three goals in just 62 minutes against Monaco as he ran riot, his most effective league matches have come when he has been given plenty of time on the pitch to work his magic.
In his only 90-minute domestic appearances this season, Lamela scored against Bournemouth and provided an assist against Aston Villa, while in an 87-minute showing against Manchester City he scored one and set up another.
On a number of other occasions this season Lamela has been given less than half an hour to make his mark, and that is simply not long enough for a player who needs to build up a head of steam in order to show what he is truly capable of.
Lamela’s time has come, and Pochettino must now show faith in him in the league, because the Argentine could be the unlikely catalyst who fires Tottenham to an even more unlikely title.