The Tottenham Hotspur winger is vital to their pressing game.
Tottenham Hotspur fans will be desperate to see defender Toby Alderweireld back in the starting line-up as soon as possible, but there is another Spurs player who is equally important to their play…even if his critics would disagree.
Erik Lamela continues to generate much debate among the club’s fan base but the simple fact is Tottenham are not the same team without him.
The Argentine international has missed the last six matches in all competitions, and in that time Tottenham have only won once after coming back late on against West Ham United.
That match aside, Spurs have struggled for results and their pressing style has suffered in the absence of the winger.
Lamela may not be everyone’s cup of tea but he is clearly rated by his manager, who knows his own style is implemented far better when the 24-year-old is on the pitch.
As important as Alderweireld is at the back – and he is vital – Lamela’s influence should not be understated.
He is expected back in early December and on recent evidence he will instantly return to the starting line-up in a bid to get Tottenham’s season back on track.
Fans have bemoaned the disappearance of Tottenham’s effective pressing style in recent weeks, proving once and for all just how important Lamela is despite those feeling he is still to justify his price tag.