Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Darren Bent believes that Jose Mourinho might be forced to leave Dele Alli on the bench for Spurs’ clash against West Ham United on Tuesday, and go with the same team that started against Manchester United.
Erik Lamela was the man who started in the number 10 role against United, which took some fans by surprise.
However, Mourinho’s decision was vindicated as the Argentine was at his tenacious and skilful best against United and constantly created problems for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s midfielders and defenders.
Bent claimed that the 28-year-old was Tottenham’s most impressive player on Friday.
He told Football Insider: “In terms of a standout performer, I thought Lamela was brilliant, I thought he played really, really well.
“Listen, he played really, really well – he got on the ball, was tenacious in the tackle, tried to make things happen, drove with the ball. At times his decision making wasn’t the best but he really impressed me.
“He probably has got a point to prove because as long as he’s at Spurs, I can’t ever see him being one of his main men where you go they’ve got to play him, he’s got to be the first name on the sheet.
“If he keeps putting in performances like he did on Friday, I think that will help and endear himself to the fans more. If he can put in those kinds of performances again, he’s someone you can rely on.”
The former England striker insisted that Lamela deserves to keep his place for the clash against Hammers on the back of his performance against United.
Since he felt Mourinho is unlikely to drop Harry Kane, Son Heung-min or Steven Bergwijn, Bent insisted that Alli might start the London derby on the bench despite being available after serving his one-match suspension.
The former Spurs star added: “It’s going to be an interesting one because I think he might go with the same team.
“I think Bergwijn, he’s going to play after his goal and his performance, Harry Kane, he’s not going to drop him, Son, you’re not going to drop him, so the next one is Lamela.
“You’d have to say Lamela played really, really well and to be fair, Lo Celso didn’t even start. I think Alli might have to wait and wait.
“I think it would be a little bit unfair if Lamela was to come out. Every player deserves a fair crack and Lamela hasn’t at times hasn’t covered himself in glory which is why he hasn’t been a regular but when he does play well, I think he’s earned the right to get another go.”
Spurs Web Opinion
As well as Lamela did on Friday, I expect Dele to start ahead of him for the game against West Ham. Jose will want to get some fresh legs into the side following our exertions on Friday.
Additionally, I feel Lamela is at his best when he comes on from the bench as his running off the ball and ability to find space can make the difference when the opposition players tire.
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