Tottenham supporters have been in fine voice in the Transfer Tavern in the last few days after seeing their side come from 2-0 down to earn a 2-2 draw with Serie A champions Juventus in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 clash on Tuesday.
Mauricio Pochettino’s men went into their encounter in Turin off the back of beating North London rivals Arsenal 1-0 in their preceding Premier League match, a result which extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 12 games. And they were made to work extremely hard for number 13 on Tuesday as a Gonzalo Higuain brace gave Juve a 2-0 lead after just nine minutes, only for goals from Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen to salvage a deserved draw for Spurs, thus making them favourites for progression when the two teams meet at Wembley in three weeks’ time.
Consequently, there have been many thrilled Tottenham fans in the Tavern in recent times, several of whom are daring to dream about what their team could go on to achieve this season, given their continued participation in the Champions League and indeed the FA Cup.
In the meantime though, there has been much for our resident Spurs supporters to get their teeth into, not least recent reports suggesting that winger Erik Lamela would be interested by a possible return to Italy in the summer.
Yet the North London outfit simply cannot let the Argentina international leave at the end of the season, as the forward has in the last few years started to find his feet in English football, and looks set to be play a key part in Tottenham’s future under Pochettino.
Ultimately, things didn’t work out straight away for the 25-year-old when he moved to the Premier League from Roma back in 2013, earning just nine league appearances and failing to net in his first season back in 2013/14, before bagging just two the season after in 33 games for Pochettino’s side.
But there has been a huge improvement in the last few years from Lamela, with the winger managing 11 goals and ten assists in all competitions in the 2015/16 campaign, while he has already mustered three assists on return to the side this term following over a year out with a hip problem.
Clearly, the Argentina international has found his feet at Spurs in the last few years, and was beginning to nail down a regular place in the midfield trio behind Kane prior to injury in October 2016, such were his impressive efforts down the flanks.
And his slow reintroduction back into the first team since returning from injury back in November suggests that he remains a key part of Pochettino’s plans at Spurs, especially given that while the Tottenham squad is certainly deeper than previous years, it’s still not the biggest of the top sides in the division.
Lucas Moura’s arrival from Paris Saint-Germain has certainly bolstered those attacking ranks, but aside from Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, and Son Heung-min, Lamela is arguably the next in line, and would probably rival Son’s position when both are at their best.
Ultimately, when fully fit, the 25-year-old is very close to Pochettino’s side, and while there are likely to be question marks over Lamela’s capabilities given a year out with injury, Spurs are doing the right thing by slowly bringing him back into action – they aren’t treating him as a player they are seeking to sell in the summer.
And given what Lamela has offered and will continue to offer this Tottenham team in years to come, letting the £22.5 million-rated ace (as per Transfermarkt) go in the close season would be a big mistake.
Tottenham fans… what do you think? Let us know!