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The Tottenham flop who is finally proving his worth?

The pressure on Tottenham to replace Gareth Bale in the summer of 2013 led to the North London club panic-buying and a consensus that they overpaid on the collective spend that saw seven players move to White Hart Lane.

Of the new faces at Spurs, the general feeling is that Christian Eriksen and Nacer Chadli have been the only two success stories purchased with the world-record transfer fee.

Paulinho, Vlad Chiriches, Etienne Capoue and Roberto Soldado have all been and gone, branded as failures and released to pursue their careers elsewhere.

This leaves Erik Lamela, who the verdict has been well and truly out on for his time in the Premier League.

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The Argentina international was brought to White Hart Lane at great expense, with the similarities in style to Bale leading to significant expectation and pressure being placed on the young attacker’s shoulders.

In his first campaign in English football, injuries took their toll and the South American whizkid that arrived with such promise after a startling season prior at Roma was rarely seen.

Lamela managed to get a clean bill of health for the majority of last term and the stewardship of his countryman Mauricio Pochettino as the club’s manager was seen as only being positive for the Argentine’s chances of making an impact at Spurs.

At times, especially in the second half of the season, the 23-year-old started to show glimpses of why he was so highly rated in Italy.

With a decisive pass here, a piece of mesmerising skill there and one spectacular Rabona strike in the Europa, the Spurs fans were starting to read into the hype to some degree.

However, there was no doubting that the slight South American was still having issues adapting to the more physical English game and in terms of consistency it was a mixed bag from Lamela.

This season, Lamela has started eight of the club’s 12 Premier League games and has continued to improve. The signs in attack of his ability are being displayed more frequently, while his attitude and work-rate are there for all to see.

Lamela has clearly realised that he has to adapt to the English game or he will not be a success, and although not a physical player by any means, he is repeatedly seen chasing down lost causes, competing in the air and making challenges.

A man of the match showing in Tottenham’s 4-1 win over Manchester City recently was without doubt the Argentine’s best showing in a Spurs shirt and will have come as relief to Pochettino and the club’s fans.

Lamela has already scored twice this season, equaling last term’s tally, and looks like having an important role in the club’s chances of a top-four finish.

If the young star can continue to grow with this youthful Spurs team and reach his potential, Spurs could well have another Bale on their hands.

The fact that Lamela scored 15 Serie A goals from a wide role in his final season with Roma and has plenty of experience with the star-studded Argentine international set-up should not be forgotten.

Bale was not rated when he first arrived at White Hart Lane and took time to settle in at Tottenham; the Spurs fans will hope for a repeat in Lamela’s case.

Article title: The Tottenham flop who is finally proving his worth?

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