Jose Mourinho has claimed that he’s always been a big fan of Tottenham’s Erik Lamela and shared that he’s been training away from the squad ahead of Chelsea.
Spurs travel to London rivals Chelsea on Saturday afternoon in the Premier League and know that a win will lift them into the top four of the Premier League table.
The North London club go into the contest off the back of a gruelling 1-0 defeat on Wednesday night to RB Leipzig in the first leg of a Champions League last-16 tie.
Lamela was used as a substitute against Leipzig to make a positive impact from the bench, but he’s only recently back from a thigh problem.
The 27-year-old winger has had injury issues during the last few years and must be desperate for some good luck.
Mourinho has explained that Lamela has been training away from the main group to ensure he’s available to play some role against Chelsea.
“Not training with the squad, just being protected to be in conditions to give us some time in the next match. A player I like very, very much, I’ve always liked, but a difficult season for him, lots of injuries and problems,” Lamela said, as quoted by Football.London.
“An incredible spirit to recover, incredible spirit to work and didn’t even go home to Argentina in the days off that we gave to the boys. Stayed here working hard, trying to give us what he gave in last game, after no training, no conditions. Tomorrow will be the same, he’ll be here to help.”
It sounds like Lamela will be on the bench again for the fixture against Chelsea and the worst thing Spurs could do is aggravate another injury by starting him too soon.
They desperately need the Argentina international moving forward, as he can inject goals and creativity to a team missing key injured duo Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son.
Lamela is a left-footed attacker that certainly has the individual ability to make a real impact in the side and if he stays fit he may become a favourite under Mourinho.