Tottenham Hotspur need a clear-out, whoever is in charge next season.
The Lilywhites have regressed drastically since making the Champions League final in 2019 and a lot of the same players that let Mauricio Pochettino down in his final six months in charge are still at the club today.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy must help his next manager by offloading deadwood. By doing this, he could well raise some extra funds for a much-needed freshen-up to the squad.
One name who appears to be most at risk is Erik Lamela.
A lot has been made about his future but most recently, respected Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla hinted that a return to the Serie A could be on the cards.
Speaking to Arena Napoli last month, he said:
“Lamela and his wife have the same desire: to return to Italy. Lamela, in all likelihood, at the end of the current football season, will leave Tottenham to try a new experience. He wants to join an important club.”
Whilst back in March, the Evening Standard reported that Bologna were hot on his case and would look to sign him in the summer.
The 29-year-old winger will enter the final year of his deal and it’s hard to envisage him getting an extension, nor does he deserve or warrant one.
It’s rather hilarious that he was signed as Gareth Bale’s replacement for €30m (£26m) back in 2013, yet the Welshman has since come back and done more than he ever has for the club.
Bale has bagged 14 goals and three assists despite largely playing a bit-part role – in fact, he’s directly contributed towards one goal every 90.4 minutes, as per Transfermarkt.
In 177 appearances, Lamela has only scored 17 times for Spurs and has never delivered more than five assists in any Premier League campaign. He has probably spent more time on the treatment table than on the pitch, too.
As of last month, the Argentine was said to have missed 135 matches through injury, including a hip problem that kept him out for 13 months.
Considering he’s earning around £85k-per-week, you could argue that he’s stolen a living from the North London outfit for the majority of his career here.
To put it into context, Bale has returned for one season and is only three goals off Lamela’s total tally for Spurs. He has also spent 43% of his time out injured.
Check out the latest transfer news on Lamela via the GMS Live football Transfer hub
We’ve seen moments of sheer brilliance from him, bagging that sensational rabona goal against Arsenal but also moments of absolute stupidity. He again tried the trick but this time it was with his team 3-1 down against Leeds, leading to BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand slamming him (via football.london).
“The goal against Arsenal was fabulous and we were all drooling over it. But you’re 3-1 down at this moment, he tries this pass,” he said. “But the more important thing was the reaction from all the players in Spurs shirts. I was looking for somebody to get onto him, to say: ‘What the hell are you doing? We’re 3-1 down. Play normal’, that tells me a lot.”
It’s not the first time Lamela has been blasted for his actions either.
Earlier this season, Graeme Souness labelled him “pathetic” live on Sky Sports for his role in getting Antony Martial sent off during Spurs 6-1 whitewash at Old Trafford.
Now valued just shy of £14.5m by Transfermarkt, this could well – and should be – the final few games that we witness Lamela in a Tottenham shirt.
Whatever Levy can get this summer, he should take it and run.