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How important is Erik Lamela to Tottenham?



With news breaking yesterday of Argentine Erik Lamela’s eagerness to sign a new contract with Tottenham Hotspur, it is clear that the winger’s hunger and passion for Premier League football is greater than ever. However, is he one of Spurs’ key players this season?

The Argentine international has been questioned by sections of the Spurs fanbase so far this season – but then in this regard, he is one of many; Christian Eriksen no longer controls games in the way he once did, while new boy Vincent Janssen is yet to score from open play.

Lamela’s criticisms are harsh, albeit valid. He is prone to diving in, in unnecessary positions, and is liable to cheap bookings early in games that limit the extent to which he can challenge for duels due to the risk of being sent off.

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For a winger, goals are also lacking in his game; despite scoring an excellent header on the opening day at Everton, Lamela hasn’t really pushed on in the league in this regard.

The Argentine lacks the blistering pace that would make him an invaluable asset to this current Spurs side, and as a result can appear one-dimensional going forwards – in a system that is reliant on inverted wingers, with fullbacks providing the width, Lamela’s game is often predictable, as he has little choice other than to cut inside onto his stronger left foot.

Despite this, he’s still a huge asset to the squad. Lamela was one of the first players to truly buy into Pochettino’s high-press system, and it’s worked wonders for him – his energy and work-rate are second to none.

Perhaps the best illustration of this is the perceived ability of the fullback behind him; Kyle Walker – one of Spurs’ best players last season, and arguably the best right-back in the league this year, looks a shadow of the player he can be at international level.

One factor contributing towards this must be that England lack a workhorse with a skill-set like Lamela; Walker is often much more isolated against smart wingers at international level and this proves his undoing.

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Furthermore, his direct running and ability to pick a lock are vital skills to the current Spurs squad. Lamela is at his best when he’s running directly at players; he can beat a defender and thread a ball through to other forwards to finish off.

His role going forwards is so often as a catalyst for the attack, instead of as the finisher – and this is what causes him to be so heavily under-rated by both Spurs fans and others in the league. His goals and assists don’t reflect his relative importance to the team, which is obviously something to work on, but it shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

At 24, the Argentine’s best years are ahead of him, and he will only improve, as will his consistency – the winger was a bit of an enigma last season; winning games with delightfully intricate passes – like against Manchester City at the Etihad, where he set up Christian Eriksen’s winner – but would go missing for others.

If anything, the latter is not a criticism that can be levied at him this year; there can be no doubting his work-rate and effort. He might lack the touch of stardust that makes the best players a cut above, but this can be compensated for by a stronger team work-ethic, and a passion for the game that is so clear in Lamela’s game now.

The Argentine’s desire to stay in North London should be celebrated by Spurs fans; it is yet another reflection of the strong team spirit at Spurs, but also that first-team players want to commit their long-term futures to the club. Manager Mauricio Pochettino is well on his way to creating something truly special at Tottenham Hotspur.

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Josh is a blogger who has been writing about Spurs for over a year. He's an avid sports fan, and is devoted not just to Tottenham Hotspur but to football as a whole. You can follow him on Twitter, @Brownyyy26, and comments or questions are always welcome.

English Premier League

Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen could be one of Premier League’s greatest ever bargains

Christian Eriksen is getting better by the season and cost Spurs just £11.5 million.



This week has seen Arsenal legend Martin Keown singing the praises of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Christian Eriksen. Speaking on BBC One’s Match of the Day (18th March) Keown stated:

“This player was always technically proficient, but he’s getting better all the time. It’s top level ability. He can pick a pass whenever he wants to. He just has everything.

“I enjoy watching him play. He wants to work, that’s part of the team ethic. He’s becoming the brains of the team.”

His comments came after Eriksen starred in the weekend win v Swansea City. The Dane scored twice as Tottenham booked their place in the FA Cup semi-final courtesy of a 3-0 triumph.

during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City at Wembley Stadium on December 9, 2017 in London, England.

Keown then commented on the price Spurs paid for Eriksen back in 2013:

“I think they paid £12.5 million for him, that’s an absolute snip.”

Spurs snapped up Eriksen from Ajax, for a fee actually reported by Sky Sports to be in the region of £11.5 million.

Looking back now it is clear to see just how much of a bargain Spurs managed to bring in. Eriksen was approaching the end of his Ajax contract at the time, which did not help the Dutch side’s bargaining power.

Comparing Eriksen to his current contemporaries in the game it is clear to see just how incredible a deal this was for Spurs.

Philippe Coutinho left Liverpool for Barcelona in January. The Brazilian cost a fee reported by Sky Sports to be £146 million. Tottenham fans will rightly believe that Eriksen is at least as good as the Barca newbie. In fact, many will suggest Eriksen is the superior operator.

Another barometer to consider in this case is that of Tottenham’s summer signing Davinson Sanchez. The Colombian, like Eriksen, was signed from Ajax but four years on and with circumstances different cost much more.

Sanchez cost a club record £42 million, according to the Guardian. That is a difference of over £30 million which highlights just how impressive the fee paid for Eriksen is. In the world of £200 million transfer fees looking back at the deal for Eriksen nearly five years ago will please Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy.

Tottenham will obviously hope they never have to sell the Dane. But if they did, the fee involved could easily amount to £100m-plus.

Which would certainly not be a bad return on the investment from Tottenham Hotspur’s point of view.

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English Premier League

Sessegnon or Bale? Past or future? Spurs must make right move this summer



Tottenham Hotspur appear to be emerging as the frontrunners in the race to sign Fulham talent Ryan Sessegnon this summer.

The Times reported in January that Tottenham had made a £25 million bid the summer previously, but that Fulham value the teenager at around £50 million.

On top of that, Spurs are also being linked with a sensational move to bring Gareth Bale back to North London. Spanish source Diario Gol has reported that Bale is ready to leave Real Madrid this summer – and has decided a return to Spurs is his wish. Bale of course left Spurs for Madrid in what the Telegraph reported was a then world record £86 million fee.

during the Sky Bet Championship match between Fulham and Burton Albion at Craven Cottage on January 20, 2018 in London, England.

It poses a big question for Spurs’s chairman Daniel Levy and manager Mauricio Pochettino. Do they start a new future, or go back to the past?

Sessegnon has been consistently compared to Bale in playing style. Much of that is down to his left-back origin. A lot of it is also down to his obvious precocious talent.

Tottenham will no doubt not be able to afford both players this summer. So what do they do?

The arrival of Bale would be a dream comeback. However, the Welshman turns 29 in June and has suffered with consistent injury problems over the past few years.

EIBAR, SPAIN – MARCH 10: Gareth Bale of Real Madrid reacts during the La Liga match between SD Eibar and Real Madrid at Ipurua Municipal Stadium on March 10, 2018 in Eibar, Spain . (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Sessegnon on the other hand is at the start of his career. The 17-year-old has already played nearly 70 professional games and scored 21 goals, many of those from left-back.

He would cost less than Bale and in the long-run would be a more stable investment. If Bale’s injury problems continued Tottenham could end up paying a larger sum for a player who cannot be relied upon.

Tottenham Hotspur should continue to look to the future in the case of Sessegnon or Bale. Bring in the Fulham star and hopefully reap the rewards.

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Tottenham Hotspur

Moroyin Omolabi released by Tottenham Hotspur one year after praise

The Nigerian defender briefly spent time on trial at Reading this year.



Nearly one year ago Tottenham Hotspur prospect Moroyin Omolabi was winning praise for his performances in the club’s youth teams.

After a win against Norwich City for the under-18s the Nigerian midfielder was given high praise by his manager John McDermott.

It came after he seamlessly dropped into a centre-back role for the game. Speaking to the official Tottenham Hotspur website after the game McDermott stated:

“Moroyin Omolabi, playing at centre-half, stood out against their front players who were very good.

“There were a lot of positives today and I was very proud of the way we played.”

It seemed that the 18-year-old might, therefore, be a player to keep tabs on for the Spurs first-team one day.

(Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

But despite impressing back in April of last year, it seems Omolabi has not progressed quite like Tottenham would have hoped.

In the most recent list of player registrations released by the FA the versatile teenager has been confirmed as released by Tottenham.

The 18-year-old left Spurs by mutual consent on the 27th February.

The teenager was a part of the UEFA Youth League squad for Spurs, but did not feature in a single game.

He played seven times in the Under-18 Premier League this campaign, scoring against West Ham back in October.

But after dropping out of contention at Spurs, the Nigerian spent time on trial at Reading – featuring in three games for the Berkshire club.

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

His final game for Tottenham appears to have been the 2-1 defeat against Fulham in October.

His failure to launch at Spurs just highlights the strength in depth Tottenham have in their youth ranks.

The teenager will now face a hunt for a new team in the summer, with his Tottenham days behind him.

It will be interesting to see if Reading follows up their interest in the player but  Omolabi will now be on the hunt for a new team.

Hopefully, his education at Tottenham Hotspur will see him in good stead in his hunt for a professional career elsewhere.

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