Opinion: Tottenham fringe man going nowhere, Mourinho loves him

A much-changed Tottenham Hotspur side showed guts and commitment to come back from a goal down on Tuesday night, progressing to the next round of the Carabao Cup with a win over Chelsea on penalties.

While Eric Dier and new signing Sergio Reguilon captured the headlines for their excellent performances, another Spurs fringe man showed just what he was capable of last night.

Erik Lamela was the unlikely hero in the Tottenham performance, hassling and harrying the Chelsea defenders and coming up with the definitive strike to get the side back in the game.

The Argentine has had an up-and-down time of it since joining Spurs from Roma in 2013, and it’s fair to saw he has frustrated the fans on plenty of occasions.

However, when fit and available for consistent periods of time, Lamela has been a useful player for Tottenham who made telling contributions in the Mauricio Pochettino era.

The South American played in an unorthodox central role against Chelsea and applied himself well – so much so that Mourinho was left praising the Spurs attacker in the aftermath of the game.

The Tottenham manager clearly wants uncompromising, determined and versatile players in his squads – and players with a bit of fight in them – with plenty of examples of this over the years.

Lamela fits the mould.

With Spurs signing two wide players in the form of Sergio Reguilon and Gareth Bale, and having plenty of attacking midfield options, it would be natural to think Lamela could be a casualty and be sold this window.

However, the type of player that the Argentine is and the way he has won over Mourinho suggests the forward will be going nowhere before Monday’s transfer deadline day.