A Tottenham Hotspur career blighted by injury, Erik Lamela was always a divisive player amongst the fanbase in N17.
The final signing of the ‘magnificent seven’ bought as a result of the Gareth Bale money, the Argentinian winger failed to deliver as an attacking option throughout his eight seasons at the club.
It was a total of just 37 goals and 47 assists across a whopping 257 appearances, averaging only an 0.39 G/A per game in the Premier League, though he did tend to show up for a ‘big’ game – such as that spectacular rabona goal against arch-rivals Arsenal or the game-winning penalty he won in front of the Kop.
At the time, he arrived as the Lilywhites’ – and chairman Daniel Levy’s – biggest-ever signing at around £30m from Serie A outfit AS Roma, but he never lived up to the hype, largely due to the fact that he was always on the treatment table.
As per Transfermarkt, Lamela missed a total of 133 matches, which works out to be around 16-and-a-half games per season. Not what you want from your club-record arrival or someone brought in to fill the void left behind by Bale.
Whilst some of his questionable antics often drew criticism. One bizarre incident involving Manchester United‘s Anthony Martial, which saw the winger play-acting to get the Frenchman sent off and led to Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness to slam him as “pathetic.”
It’s perhaps no wonder that one of the first bits of business sporting director Fabio Paratici did was find a new home for him as he included the 30-year-old in a swap deal for Sevilla’s Bryan Gil.
Tottenham would pay £21.6m alongside Lamela, who was earning an eye-watering £85k-per-week at Hotspur Way, but swapping an injury-prone flop for a potential star of the future just made the world of sense.
And things haven’t really improved for the 25-time Argentina international as he’s only been able to muster up 30 appearances for the LaLiga side, where he has delivered a measly nine goal contributions – one every three games in the Spanish top-flight.
Such form and obvious question marks over his age – entering the wrong side of 30 – has seen his value plummet to a disappointing €7m (£6m), as per CIES Football Observatory, who assess the transfer value of professional footballers on a scientific basis.
Therefore, despite being capable of producing moments of the spectacular, it appears that Paratici was more than right to offload him and did so at the right time. He’d have only been part of the exiled group of flops under Antonio Conte this summer and that would’ve dented the appeal in signing him.