Tottenham Hotspur’s 3-1 win over Fulham on Saturday maintained the club’s good start to the new season, with a real acid test next Monday against Manchester United at Old Trafford.
While the side that started the clash at the weekend moves closer to the first-choice starting XI, there is a feeling that there is competition for places – especially in the attacking areas.
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino introduced Erik Lamela late in the game against Fulham, with the Argentine attacker making an immediate impact on proceedings – much to the delight of the fans.
The former Roma man’s turn of pace, close control and excellent assist for Harry Kane’s goal shows that the South American can be an important player for Spurs.
Lamela has had an up-and-down time of it at Tottenham since signing for a £30 million fee in 2013, with the Argentina international touted in some corners as a replacement for Gareth Bale.
While the Spurs man does not have the same dynamism as the Welsh star, it is clear to see why Pochettino rates his compatriot and how he can make a positive contribution as an impact sub.
While Dele Alli and Lucas Moura are more direct in their approach and Christian Eriksen uses technique over speed, Lamela represents a Plan B for Tottenham.
When fit and firing, the South American has proven that he can be a real asset for the side – this was especially true in the 2015-16 season with Spurs fighting for the Premier League title.
Although injuries have taken their toll on Lamela since, his cameo against Fulham was very encouraging for the supporters, with signs that the attacking midfielder is sharp, focused and fit.
Lamela starting against Manchester United would be a shock, but there is no reason why the Argentine schemer cannot stake a claim for a regular place in the Spurs side moving forward.