Opinion: Erik Lamela – Can the Argentine be a key player for Mourinho?

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

For many years, Lamela has seemingly been the ‘marmite’ of Tottenham Hotspur. It is interesting to see how on social media, the Argentine is either adored by fans or criticised to the heavens.

But, as Lamela fights to come back from yet another lengthy injury, I thoroughly believe that he has the capability of becoming a key asset to the Mourinho system.

It had appeared that Lamela was to have a key season for the club this year. The playmaker had been involved in three goals and three assists during his start to the campaign (transfermarkt), most notably in the away draw at Manchester City.

However, a hamstring injury sustained against Red Star Belgrade foiled any possible momentum. For me, the match was one of the best games we have seen of Lamela in a Spurs shirt.

The Argentine had scored and also assisted two. But the fact that he has been out for months is nothing but a mystery, especially when you take into account that it looked like Pochettino was resting Lamela for further fixtures.

It is a deep shame that his Tottenham career thus far has been associated with injuries. A hip injury that ruled Lamela out for the end of 2016 and also the majority of 2017 was certainly frustrating for many (transfermarkt).

In the 2015/2016 season, we were provided with some memorable moments by Lamela. Most notably the third goal against Manchester United at White Hart Lane or the fabulous assist for Christian Eriksen to defeat Manchester City in the closing stages of the game (transfermarkt).

But as Erik Lamela awaits a return, there has been a huge change at Tottenham. Jose Mourinho is now the head coach of the club, with the Portuguese manager doing tremendously well using a new 4-2-3-1 system.

For me, the Argentine could be seen as a player similar to what Mourinho had at Chelsea in Oscar (transfermarkt). Both are players who work tremendously hard for the team off the ball, and are often not afraid to put a challenge in.

In fact, according to the Premier League, Lamela has successfully completed 85% off his tackles so far this season. He has also recovered the ball 37 times in this domestic season (Premier League)

When you look at the previous teams Jose Mourinho has managed, the systems seem to be very similar, opting to have attacking midfielders who are also willing to track back for the team.

It enables the team to win the ball back high up the pitch but also increases the defensive numbers. We have seen the likes of Wesley Sneijder and Frank Lampard flourish from such a system too. Dele Alli is also a player who appears to be following in those footsteps, but Erik Lamela is also a viable option.

Last week, Mourinho claimed that Lamela would still be out for a couple more months or so (football.london). However, I thoroughly believe that Erik Lamela has the potential to suit a Jose Mourinho side.

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