Tottenham boss claims £26m winger looks like different player following hat-trick

Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino has claimed that Erik Lamela looks like a different player from two years ago after he grabbed a Europa League hat-trick against Monaco on Thursday, Daily Mail reports.

The win guaranteed Spurs’ position as the group leaders heading into the knock-out stage as Lamela scored three goals in just 37 minutes before Tom Carroll added a fourth to put the icing on the cake.

The Argentina international has been in fine form so far this term following a poor start to his life at White Hart Lane, but looks to be finally delivering on the £26million the Lilywhites paid Roma back in 2013.

And nobody is more pleased than manager Pochettino, claiming he is almost unrecognisable from to the player two years ago.

“It is true that today he is more confident and looks a different player from two years ago,” Pochettino said.

“There are always a lot of reasons for the improvement of a player. First of all, a young player like Lamela has arrived at a new country. He is a very special boy but he needed time to adapt and not only on the pitch.

“When you score a hat-trick you don’t have to say anything more because it was great for him and great for the team. It helped the team to finish at the top.

“Lamela has not surprised me, he is a great talent and okay, you always need a little bit of luck to score but he scored three goals and its normal that he deserves all the praise and the headlines. That is football.

“Always the younger players need time. They need time to improve, they need time to adapt their game to a new culture and a new country and sometimes it is a difficult process. Some players are quick, some it takes time.”

Spurs will host Newcastle United in their next Premier League fixture, with the Magpies beating Liverpool at St. James’ Park last week.

Lamela, 23, has made 18 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring seven goals.