Former Tottenham Hotspur winger, Andros Townsend has admitted that the wage disparity between himself and Erik Lamela caused unrest at Spurs when he was playing ahead of the Argentina international.
Lamela was one of the seven players signed by Tottenham in the summer of 2013 with the money they received from Gareth Bale’s transfer to Real Madrid.
The £27million that Tottenham paid to Roma for Lamela’s services (transfermakrt.com) has proven to be decent value for money in hindsight, with the Argentine being a great servant to the club.
However, that did not look always look like it was going to be the case, with the attacking midfielder struggling to impose himself on matches in his first season at the club.
In fact, Townsend often got the nod to start over Lamela under Andre Villas-Boas, with the Spurs academy graduate’s excellent form in the 2013/14 season also seeing him become a regular for England.
When discussing whether wage disparities between players can affect squad morale, the Palace star admitted that it did cause ‘unrest’ when he was starting over Lamela despite earning a fraction of what the former Roma man was.
Townsend claimed that he was on £5,000-per-week at the time and was starting ahead of Lamela on £70,000-per-week.
Andros told talkSPORT: “I’m going to be honest, I think it can [cause problems]. I’ve had both sides of it. When I was at Spurs as a youngster coming through we signed Erik Lamela and when he first joined I was playing ahead of Lamela.
“He was reportedly on I think £60-70,000 a week and I was on about £5,000 a week. I was playing ahead of this guy and I was nowhere near his wages so yeah it did, it does cause a bit of unrest.
“When I went to Palace I was reportedly on more than the players that were already there and I didn’t hit the ground running, I wasn’t playing well and it did cause unrest with players saying: ‘Hang on, how come he is on that amount and I am only on this’.
“I think both sides of it can cause some problems.”
Listen below to what Townsend said on talkSPORT Breakfast:
⚪️ “When Lamela joined #THFC I was playing ahead of him.”
💷 “He was reportedly on £70k-a-week and I was on £5k-week!”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) August 5, 2020
Spurs Web Opinion
It is natural that players who are on big contracts would not be happy with a young, inexperienced, youngster playing over them. Similarly, young players are also bound to be displeased if they receive a substantially lower salary than the club’s big-money signings despite playing as well or better. This is why contract negotiations are never simple and there are various factors regarding group dynamics that need to be considered before new deals are handed out.
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