Tottenham are undergoing something of a painful revolution at the moment, a summer of incomings and what now appears to likely be a winter of departures. Spurs were never going to find the balance overnight; Levy’s ambitious summer overhaul was about the long-term, buying in young talents to hopefully necessitate a future of Premier League success for the North Londoners.
Patience though appears to be a commodity lacking in football circles, for many the sacking of AVB was premature and new suggestions that Levy will again look to tweak the squad border on the ridiculous.
Reports are already emerging that club record signing Erik Lamela is set to be an imminent departure. I think many will be wondering when this madness will ever end?
Many of the papers have suggested that the Argentinian winger will be moving back to Italy, with a potential move to champions Juventus already being mooted. Lamela’s father just added fuel to the fire by being quoted as saying in the Mirror:
“Erik is not happy and wants to go back to Italy. He has been linked with Lazio, but I don’t know anything about this. Could he re-join Roma? I don’t know.
“Tottenham does not want him to leave in January.”
I’m not sure if this is just naivety from everyone concerned, or just some ficticious transfer story because for any sensible observer this all seems a little rash. Lamela has had 6 months in a country where he doesn’t speak the language, at a club where he is expected to adapt to their way of playing and all this at the age of 21. Don’t get me wrong Lamela hasn’t set the world alight just yet, but he has hardly had the opportunity to. Spurs’ management of the player has for many been pretty prudent, slowly incorporating him into the team and managing his minutes. Before January this seemed a shrewd way of treating what is an important long-term investment. His start shouldn’t really come as any sort of surprise at Spurs.
The second thing that makes this deal seem unlikely are the figures being bandied around. Spurs are supposedly going to be selling at a loss, or potentially with an ageing Vucinic thrown in to sweeten the deal. Maybe those reporting the deal aren’t familiar with Levy, but those that are will realise what a stubborn business orientated man he is. Selling at a loss after 6 months given the painstaking process he would have gone through to recruit the player in the first place is unlikely, similarly the acquisition of an ageing striker would hardly suit the clubs general future orientated direction either.
So what of the player?
Lamela should have been aware of the risks when he came to England; if he wasn’t then his advisors really need to take a look at themselves. This isn’t a case of jumping into Premier League life and becoming an instant success, it’s a long-term process. You only have to look at the rise of Gareth Bale to realise that in our game patience and persistence are crucial when it comes to nurturing young talents.
Maybe this is a ploy from Lamela’s representatives to get the youngster playing a bit more regularly, or maybe he genuinely longs to return to Italy. Either way I cannot see Spurs budging here. Lamela was the centrepiece of Baldini’s summer overhaul, and to admit defeat on him would be to undermine the whole operation. Levy certainly isn’t a man to be bullied, and unless someone is willing to match the £30m paid in the summer, which I doubt, then I expect the player to continue to be plying his trade in North London come May.