Pundit explains why Spurs face a ‘catch 22 situation’ with long-serving player

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Jose Mourinho
Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Former Coventry City striker Noel Whelan believes Tottenham Hotspur face a dilemma regarding whether or not to keep Erik Lamela and could decide to cash in on the Argentine sooner rather than later despite the qualities he brings to the team.

After the attacking additions that Tottenham made over the summer, it did seem like Lamela’s game time might be severely limited this campaign.

However, that has not proven to be the case as the Argentine has once again showcased the fighting spirit that has epitomised his seven and a half years in North London and proved to Jose Mourinho that he could be a valuable option when called upon.

The 28-year-old has moved ahead of the likes of Dele Alli and Steven Bergwijn in the pecking order and looks like he could continue to play an important role this season.

Whelan acknowledged that the former Roma man can be an outstanding talent on his day but suggested that Tottenham might be tempted to sell him this summer given the other options they have at their disposal.

The pundit told Football Insider: “He’s been at Tottenham a hell of a long time now, Erik Lamela, and he’s always been one of these players that is a go-to from the bench.

“He’s had short spells when he’s been a starter in the side, more so with Mauricio Pochettino.

“Now he’s the sort of player that, on his day, can be a world-beater. He can score great goals, he’s fantastic with the ball on the deck, great pace, good eye for a pass.

“It’s a catch 22 situation. If he’s desperately needed by Jose Mourinho, then they should think about getting a new contract on the table for him. If he’s not in Jose Mourinho’s plans and they feel they want a fresher person in that position, then you do have to cash in. It’s as simple as that.

“Lamela has still got a lot to offer a football team and could get regular game time so you’ll get more money from him now then in another year’s time.

“If you want to get some money for him the best way would be to cash in at the end of the season.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Lamela, in some ways, embodies the nasty, winning-at-all-costs mentality that Jose is trying to instil in the Tottenham squad. He is also an invaluable squad player to have as he is never one to sulk if he is left on the bench or out of the squad and always puts the team first. He is also arguably one of the best impact subs we have in the squad and so I cannot see Jose being in a hurry to get rid of him.

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