Italian swap deal another possibility for Spurs in Lamela conundrum
Erik Lamela may have only been in England for only five months, but whether it is problems with the language, the constant barrage of wind and rain or a combination of the lot, his father now insists that a move back to Italy is wanted.
Tottenham may have not seen the best of Lamela yet, as a slightly timid playing style, some injuries and the fact that Andros Townsend and now Aaron Lennon have performed so positively on the right side of midfield have prevented him rediscovering his Roma form.
But, Spurs are not prepared to give up on their record signing so easily, with the rumours coming from the club being that Lamela will not be allowed to depart in January, in any capacity.
Lamela’s minimal impact can be seen through his statistics, which show only one goal and three assists from 15 appearances in all competitions this season.
Meanwhile, he only averages one shot and one key pass per game, which is not what was expected from a player that averaged almost three shots per game last season at Roma and scored 15 goals.
Although not quite as poor as Lamela has currently been, Christian Benteke does represent some type of example of a player that has shown substantial improvement in the second half of his debut Premier League season.
Benteke only scored five league goals in the 2012 part of last season, but added another 14 after the New Year. Maybe Spurs are expecting a similar rise in fortunes from Lamela?
Any improvement would be highly appreciated by Spurs, with Tottenham’s odds currently 3/1 to finish in the top four this season.
However, if Lamela is deemed to be a saleable commodity, then there would be no shortage of Italian takers, with Juventus and Inter Milan linked.
Lamela’s agent Pablo Sabbag has apparently already flown to Inter in January in the hope of negotiating a deal, while Juventus would be interested in a player-plus-cash deal involving Mirko Vucinic or Fabio Quagliarella.
The chief problem for either of these deals is that Spurs will want back the bulk of the outlay they invested on Lamela, which would result in the cash part of any deal being in the region of £20m.
This could be out of Juventus’ price bracket, but given that Jermain Defoe is almost certainly on his way out of Tottenham, there could be grater grounds for negotiation.
Defoe is the focus of a £6m deal from MLS side Toronto FC, who are coached by former Spurs defender Ryan Nelson and are captained by Steven Caldwell.
Even with Emmanuel Adebayor back in contention for a starting spot again, Tottenham will need a striker to replace Defoe, with Vucinic joining a list that is also likely to include Jordan Rhodes, Loic Remy and a return for Dimitar Berbatov.