Tottenham Hotspur winger Erik Lamela may have just blown his final chance to impress Jose Mourinho.
The Argentine has very much been a bit-part player under the Special One this season.
But in need of a spark against Liverpool on Thursday night, the Spurs boss turned to him in the hope he could provide that extra edge going forward, especially as Harry Kane had been forced off early through injury.
In reality, it was quite the opposite, and his performance has now surely put his long-term future at the club in jeopardy.
According to Eurosport’s Dean Smith, the long-serving 27-year-old attacker is one of several players who Spurs would listen to offers for before Monday’s transfer deadline.
Evidently, he should be a dispensible figure after only two league starts this campaign.
Lamela disappointed in his 45-minute cameo against the defending Premier League champions – lightweight, anonymous and ineffective would merely be three words to describe his disasterclass.
Given he came on and was deployed in an advanced midfield role, it was no wonder that Heung-min Son largely had scraps – if that – to feed off. The South Korean sensation couldn’t even record a single shot on goal throughout the second half.
Lamela was rated a shambolic 5.9 by WhoScored for his performance. He also made only 13 of 18 passes (72%) and lost every single one of his battles, losing a total of five duels (100%), via SofaScore.
At times, he really was watching the game pass by as the £85k-per-week ace was dribbled past twice. And when actually involved, he lost the ball once every four touches. It was a really pathetic display all round from Lamela.
But that’s been the story of his Spurs career.
Earlier in the month, former Premier League talisman Kevin Phillips backed the club to offload him. He told Football Insider: “If there is an opportunity for Mourinho to offload him in this window, I think he will do it.”
He proved on Thursday night why the club should do exactly that.
Lamela is behind Steven Bergwijn, Gareth Bale and Lucas Moura in the pecking order and considering he’s among the highest earners and is rarely featuring – even when he does he is simply not delivering – it would be a wise decision to cash in on him sooner rather than later.
The writing is on the wall.
AND in other news, Spurs could find ideal Dele Alli replacement in £36m “complete midfielder”…