Erik Lamela needs one more season to settle and will show what he’s truly capable of in a Tottenham shirt next time around, according to Spurs hero Chris Waddle.
The Argentine arrived at White Hart Lane in a club record £30m deal last summer as part of the ‘life without Gareth Bale’ plan and largely failed to justify his value with a handful of below par showings before a back injury ended his campaign during the winter.
With the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino in north London Lamela has shown major signs of improvement this term, yet he is yet to hit the heights that convinced the Lilywhites to splash the cash to get him in from Roma.
Still just 22, the South American ace – once dubbed the ‘new Lionel Messi’ – has time on his side, and Waddle is sure that he will show just how good he is next season:
“I think the Italian league is very slow it’s very open, until you get into the 18-yard box you don’t really come into contact with players,” he told the London Evening Standard.
“You could get to 38-40 and play in Italy, I could play in Italy for a season.
“I think Lamela enjoyed that, it was more possession and you bide your time until you get to the penalty area, but he comes to the Premier League where all of a sudden it’s 100 miles per hour,”
“He’s adjusting, he’s getting better and people forget he’s still young, next year – hopefully he’ll improve this year – and next year, if he’s ever going to do it, it’ll be next season.”