Erik Lamela cannot put his finger on the reason for this season’s upturn in fortunes, but the Tottenham winger is confident the best is yet to come.
Many had written off the 23-year-old as a costly Premier League flop after an underwhelming first two seasons at White Hart Lane.
It seemed during the summer that Spurs were willing to let the B#30million club-record signing follow the likes of Roberto Soldado, Paulinho and Vlad Chiriches out of the club, but their patience is at last paying off.
Lamela has begun to impress on a consistent basis this term, following up a man-of-the-match display in Tottenham’s 4-1 comeback win against Manchester City by scoring in Thursday’s 1-1 Europa League draw in Monaco.
The Argentina international’s finish was straightforward enough but the skill shown in starting the move was anything but, showing exquisite quick feet by rolling the ball onto his right and playing through Nacer Chadli.
“I can’t remember it,” Lamela somewhat surprisingly told Press Association Sport when asked about that moment of skill.
“The goal was from a good counter-attack. I think we deserved it because the break was good.
“We deserved a little bit more from the game, but it is not a bad result because we play away.
“We need to win the next game at home (in the Europa League) and try to get three points there.”
Despite conceding a frustrating, late equaliser, Spurs still sit atop of Group J and can take a number of positives away from the Stade Louis II.
Lamela’s impressive display is undoubtedly one of those, with the attacking midfielder now showing his indubitable talent on a consistent basis.
“I don’t know what has changed,” he said, conducting an interview in English for the first time. “I am working hard every day to find my best.
“The team helps me and I want to help the team.
“I don’t know (if it is because I am more settled). I need to keep working, keep working hard every day. I am always wanting to help my team.”
Last year’s appointment of compatriot Mauricio Pochettino appears to have helped Lamela belatedly find his feet at White Hart Lane.
The former Argentina international has an impressive record of coaxing the best out of young talent and the Spurs head coach has enjoyed his recent displays.
“I am happy for us and the team too,” Pochettino, whose side return to Premier League action at Swansea this weekend, said.
“When the player plays well and improves their performance, it is good for the team.
“This is important – to always believe in them and give them confidence.
“You wait always for players to show more, more, more and more. This is the same for all players.
“You expect always the best for young players and for Erik it is good to score again to help his confidence.”
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