In his last eight games for Tottenham Hotspur, Erik Lamela has produced five goals and three assists, failing to play a hand in a goal in just one of those appearances.
The Lilywhites have been made to wait a long time for the Argentine to hit his utmost potential in north London, partly because his original heralding in summer 2013 as Gareth Bale’s natural successor was impossible to live up to and partly because of a succession of injury problems, but Mauricio Pochettino is certainly getting full value out of the attacking midfielder right now.
After scoring the winner against Tottenham on Saturday, Lamela has now matched his second-best scoring haul in a single season for the Lilywhites, albeit his strongest to date of eleven in 44 outings still being a little way off, and the controlled header connecting with a Moussa Sissoko cross wasn’t his only moment of brilliance in an otherwise tetchy local derby.
In fact, the 26-year-old’s direct running continued to cause problems for West Ham’s defence with four successful dribbles in total, made all the more impressive by the fact Lamela was dispossessed just once and didn’t suffer a single unsuccessful touch before being subbed off in the 75th minute. He also threatened Lukasz Fabianski’s goal the most too, recording one more shot than Harry Kane.
And that leaves Pochettino with the right kind of problem to have, because amid so much scepticism about Tottenham’s squad depth – especially following a summer in which they failed to make any new signings – the Spurs boss currently faces some big decisions in the middle of the park.
Christian Eriksen made his return from the substitutes bench against the Hammers while Dele Alli is expected to be back in action next weekend – so who exactly should take up the central attacking role in Tottenham’s midfield against Manchester City? Let us know by voting below…