No player in recent Tottenham history has split fans as much as Erik Lamela.
He has undeniably fantastic moments that will live on as part of Spurs’ fabric forever. He is also unequivocally overwhelmed for most of his career in north London, leaving for Sevilla with just 37 goals in 255 appearances.
The last member of Spurs ” magnificent seven ” bought with the Gareth Bale money is leaving, with only a clear and obvious successful signing coming from it (Christian Eriksen from Ajax for a cool £ 11.5 million). However, that has not made Lamela a failure.
Of course, his goals and assistance sums are not pretty. His statistics per 90 are not better either (he averaged 0.39 goals and assists per game in the Premier League over an eight-year stretch). But Lamela typified Tottenham under Mauricio Pochettino when his body allowed him to set the pace for the press and largely be a living embodiment of the “Battle of the Bridge” debacle.
Lamela also loved a great game and came up with great performances against the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Juventus and Arsenal. But most importantly, he was the biggest house ** the Spurs have ever seen.
Getting Anthony Martial sent off in a 6-1 win at Old Trafford. Calls Jack Wilshere a ‘p ****’. “Unintentional” is on Cesc Fabrega’s hand. To win a last minute penalty before the Kop end. Almost two feet a child in a campaign game for club sponsors AIA. Anyone can win some pots and pans; Who else in football has ever had a resume like this?
Lamela arrived as Spurs’ record signing, and although contributions on the pitch may not have lived up to the hype, he has at least had a huge hand in giving fans lots of fond memories (which is basically the cornerstone of everything Tottenham have had to cheer in the last decade).
The massive gap between tangible and intangible contributions is what has made him so divided. Never in his Spurs career has Lamela ever been productive, and the battle lines are drawn quickly after arriving from Roma. On the one hand, there were fans who demanded more from a winger of 30 million pounds, the other those who wanted to give him time, and later, the advantage of doubting that injuries had changed the player he was expected to become.
Haven’t even talked about this yet / Julian Finney / Getty Images
Both sides are right, but football is hardly about impartiality and almost completely biased, which in the end is what will help carry his legacy from intermediate player to cult hero.
This could have been an article that grew lyrically about his rabon goals or his predictable ball rolls (especially the one on the edge of his own box in the last minute against Ajax), but it would be a disservice to Lamela’s character and an over-appreciation of football player Lamela . Even then, he was always happy at Spurs, never complained about his minutes and always put in a shift.
He was the man who had the task of being the “new ball”. Lamela did not come close to reaching those heights at the football level, but he will be remembered by most people in north London as if he actually did. Would I want Spurs to pay £ 30 million for that experience again? Absolutely.
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