'What a player': Star Spurs sold lauded for Champions League display
Spurs fans, understandably, felt that they had got the much better end of the deal when it was announced that they had signed Bryan Gil from Sevilla, with Erik Lamela moving the other way.
Lamela’s talent is unquestionable. However, he was Tottenham’s game-changer nowhere near often enough during his time in North London.
So his move to La Liga looked to make sense for all parties – particularly with Gil signing as part of the deal.
But in the early stages, it appears that Lamela is doing his best to make Spurs rue their decision to offload him.
The Argentinian has scored three goals in three substitute appearances in the league.
And on Tuesday, he made his Champions League debut for the club.
It proved to be a remarkable tie in Spain. Four first-half penalties were awarded as Sevilla and Red Bull Salzburg played out a 1-1 draw. There was also a 50th minute red card for Youssef En-Nesyri.
Eight minutes later, Lamela was introduced. As shown by Whoscored, he went on to complete five successful dribbles. Remarkably, that was more than any player who featured.
Meanwhile, he also made three tackles. Marcos Acuna was the only Sevilla player to manage more.
And the 29-year-old has been lauded by the Spanish press for his display…
“What a player! He debuted with a double against Rayo and raised the level of the team from delivery and quality,” Marca suggested.
“Everything did well. From the recoveries, to the dribbles (what a delight) and the arrivals. He is to be a starter.”
Lamela shining at Sevilla, but Spurs still right to let him leave despite Champions League display
Lamela has made a brilliant start to life in Spain. But it is unlikely many Tottenham fans will be seriously questioning the decision to let him go.
Of course, there were times when he was outstanding in North London. But a succession of managers got a similar level of consistency from Lamela.
So there is every chance that he would have been nowhere near as impressive had he stayed this summer.
It was the right time to let him go. And many will simply be pleased to see him thriving at his new home.