Erik Lamela stars for Spurs
Arguably Tottenham’s best player this season has been Argentine Erik Lamela.
Signed as one of seven players to replace Gareth Bale, Lamela has had mixed fortunes at Spurs.
His first season was a complete write-off due to injury and acclimatisation. The arrival of Mauricio Pochettino boosted both the club and his fellow Argentine Lamela.
A serious hip injury curtailed that progress and many Tottenham supporters feel they have only really seen the real Lamela this campaign.
Lamela returns to the Argentina national side
Lamela has been recalled to the Argentina national squad after an excellent run of form that has included four Premier League games in eight appearances.
It is not just the goals and assist though, Lamela’s whole hearted attitude has also endeared him to Spurs fans.
This was on display during Saturday’s win over Crystal Palace where Lamela was taken off with a bad blood wound on his head.
Erik Lamela talks up River Plate return
Spurs have talked up the fact that Lamela along with Paulo Gazzaniga and Juan Foyth have been called up to the Argentina squad for two friendly matches against Mexico.
However, the double edged sword is that players speak to their local press about issues their clubs cannot control.
On Wednesday, Lamela talked up a return to River Plate when questioned by a TyC Sports reporter.
River Plate are the boyhood club of Lamela, with the Argentine midfielder forced to leave for Roma once they were relegated in 2011.
Lamela: “If there is a good project and the club wants … “
Still a River Plate fan, Lamela said: “I always say that if there is a good project, the desire to return is not lacking, I am still young, the time is passing and the time is coming more and more to come back, why not? If there is a good project and the club wants … “
The Spurs star was also asked about the Copa Libertadores final first leg that took place on Sunday.
River Plate drew 2-2 with great rivals Boca Juniors in the first leg, after the match was delayed by rain on Saturday.
The second leg of the final will be played next Saturday.
Lamela confirmed that he returned to Argentina early to make sure he wouldn’t miss the match on TV and felt River Plate played well.
He told TyC Sports: “I liked it, River played a good game, I think Boca did not have many situations and scored both goals, but River had many chances, and in the end the draw was not bad.”
Should Spurs fans be worried about Lamela?
The financial gulf between the Premier League and the top flight in Argentina is so big that Lamela would have to take a huge pay cut to return to River Plate.
Lamela is contracted to Spurs until 2022 and at 26 is expected to stay in north London for some time yet.
Much like Carlos Tevez at Boca Juniors, it would be no surprise to see Lamela end his career at River Plate.