Darren Bent insists Tottenham ace Erik Lamela ‘has got a point to prove’ after his ‘brilliant’ performance against Manchester United on Friday.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Spurs striker was impressed by the Argentine’s display at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last week.
The outlet revealed earlier this month that Lamela only has nine games to convince Jose Mourinho he deserves to stay in north London.
He played 70 minutes against the Red Devils before he was replaced by Gedson Fernandes.
Spurs started the game well after Steven Bergwijn scored the opener but Bruno Fernandes levelled the score with a penalty in the latter stages of the game (BBC).
Bent told assistant editor Russell Edge “In terms of standout performer, I thought Lamela was brilliant, I thought he played really, really well.
“Listen, he played really, really well – he got on the ball, was tenacious in the tackle, tried to make things happen, drove with the ball. At times his decision making wasn’t the best but he really impressed me.
“He probably has got a point to prove because as long as he’s at Spurs, I can’t ever see him being one of his main men where you go they’ve got to play him, he’s got to be the first name on the sheet.
“If he keeps putting in performances like he did on Friday, I think that will help and endear himself to the fans more. If he can put in those kind of performances again, he’s someone you can rely on.”
It is hard to argue with the pundit here, as Lamela seized the opportunity with open arms.
As Dele Alli was suspended for the Premier League clash, the 28-year-old stepped up in his absence.
He took 37 touches of the ball, registered 17 out of 27 passes with a passing accuracy rating of 74%, successfully completed 3 out of 4 dribble attempts, and made 2 interceptions (via SofaScore).
These stats don’t really paint the full picture, as he helped to set the tempo early on to unsettle Man United in the first half.
His influence all over the pitch helped Mourinho’s side earn a hard-fought draw with the Red Devils at home.
Spurs are currently eighth in the table, four points behind United, and nine points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.
With all that being said, Mourinho is well aware his budget has been severely slashed ahead of the transfer window, and the club could be forced to sell the £14.4m-valued star to cover the costs of a squad overhaul.
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