Jermaine Jenas claims his opinion on Tottenham's Erik Lamela has changed, credits Pochettino

Jermaine Jenas

Jermaine Jenas has hailed the improvement of Tottenham ace Erik Lamela.

Former Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas has told Yahoo Sport that Spurs winger Erik Lamela 'looks like a different player' thanks to Mauricio Pochettino.

Spurs sit fourth in the Premier League table, just four points adrift of league leaders Arsenal after a 2-1 victory over Watford on Monday evening.

With just two defeats this season, Tottenham are having a remarkable campaign under manager Pochettino, who has helped develop the likes of Eric Dier, Dele Alli and Harry Kane.

Other players such as Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and Mousa Dembele have all improved under Pochettino's stewardship, but if any player symbolises the Pochettino era, it's his compatriot Erik Lamela.

The Argentine winger was signed in 2013 as a replacement for Gareth Bale, but struggled in his first two seasons, scoring just six goals in his first two campaigns.

This term though, Lamela has already hit eight goals, including a goal in that win over Watford, and he is now becoming a key member of the Tottenham side.

Now, ex-Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas has told Yahoo Sport that he initially felt Lamela was lagging behind Andros Townsend as White Hart Lane, but has now admitted that his opinion of the hard-working wide man has changed - and credits Pochettino for the improvement in Lamela's performance.

"It was interesting to see that Erik Lamela notched his fourth goal in five games against Watford on Monday," said Jenas. "He's certainly picked up this season and the numbers prove it. He's already managed more Premier League goals this season after 17 games than he had in his previous two seasons combined."

"I remember watching him early on in his Spurs' career and I'd just get frustrated. I thought he looked slow and lightweight, he was most definitely a fish out of water. Even at the start of the season I questioned why they were persisting with him when they had someone like Andros Townsend on the bench chomping at the bit to play. He was clearly struggling to adapt to the English game."

"Now he looks like a different player. I've watched him this season and he's been charging round, looking determined, and I think a lot of the credit for that has to go to Mauricio Pochettino. I've spoken to some of the boys at the club and Pochettino's methods – including double sessions in the lead up to Christmas – are clearly paying dividends. In the case of Lamela, he looks fitter, faster, and he's starting to take players on, which is what he's supposed to do as an attacking midfielder," he added.

What do you think of Lamela's performances this season?

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