Tottenham Hotspur winger Erik Lamela is a wanted man this summer, and Daniel Levy ought to finally offload him as there may never be a better opportunity to do so…
According to Evening Standard journalist Jack Rosser, Serie A outfit Bologna are eyeing up a transfer swoop for the 29-year-old, who will soon enter the final year of his current contract.
I Rossoblu sporting director Walter Sabatini confirmed their interest in the Spurs star, he said: “Lamela is one of the names we are looking into. We are trying to understand if there are possibilities to get there and there is no guarantee.”
It’s thought that the Italian side could lose six-goal Riccardo Orsolini to their league rivals, AC Milan, and the Argentine is someone who could replace him at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara.
“Of course, should Orsolini leave, there would be no better substitute. We will see,” added Sabatini.
Lamela is one of Spurs’ longest-serving players, he alongside Hugo Lloris are the only two to remain from the Andre Villas-Boas era but between the pair, there is a massive difference.
As club captain, the French goalkeeper has been a frequent part of the squad for many years, racking up 363 appearances – and counting. Whereas, Lamela’s time in north London has been blighted by persistent injury problems and inconsistencies.
The £14.4m-rated enigma has racked up 251 matches for the club, but that comes at an average of just 31 appearances per season. When you consider the vast number of competitions Spurs have been competing in – often a European spell alongside two domestic trophies and, of course, the Premier League, that isn’t much at all.
Nor has he ever particularly delivered in terms of goal contributions, managing only 37 goals and 47 assists – that’s one goal contribution every three matches.
His current challengers for a starting spot are doing vastly better – summer loan arrival Gareth Bale is managing a goal or assist every 98 minutes (one every 1.9 games), whilst Lucas Moura is delivering a goal every 136 minutes (one contribution every 2.6 games).
As per Transfermarkt, Lamela has missed 133 games through an array of injuries, ranging from calf and hamstring strains to back problems.
Considering Levy paid €30m (£26m) for his services, he just hasn’t got much bang for his buck and given he is entering the final 12 months of his contract, there will not be a better time to cash in.
This much has been backed up by Football Insider pundit Gabby Agbonlahor, who claimed that Lamela has “not really lived up to expectations” and claimed that “If Jose Mourinho is given a bit of money he will definitely get rid of Lamela” in the summer.
The Spurs boss lauded Lamela as “amazing” and “fantastic” earlier in the season whilst Mauricio Pochettino once dubbed him a “big talent,” so it’s easy to see why he’s been in N17 for so long, though there shouldn’t be any place for sentiment.
Earlier in the season, he was dubbed “pathetic” by Sky Sports’ Graeme Souness (via football.london) in reaction to him getting Anthony Martial sent off in their 6-1 whitewash of Manchester United, and more recently, we saw a similar situation as the winger went from the sensational – scoring a rabona against Arsenal – before receiving his marching orders for a second silly yellow card.
Lamela has been given plenty of time at Spurs, but time is now up for him to make much of an impact on their future, and on the above evidence, he must be sold this summer should a suitable offer come in.
AND in other news, Spurs eye “special” manager to replace Mourinho – it would be a disaster…