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River Plate Looking To Pounce On Unsettled Tottenham Attacker

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Erik Lamela of Tottenham


River Plate are hopeful that they can wrap up a summer swoop for Tottenham Hotspur attacker Erik Lamela.

The Argentinean has not featured for the north London club since October 25 after picking up a hip injury. He spent much of December at his former club AS Roma for treatment purposes. There were also rumours flocking in that he might opt for a switch to the Italian outfit but it seems like River Plate, the club that he started his football career is interested in prying him from White Hart Lane.

The 24-year-old returned back to his homeland last month, not only for extra time off, also due to the passing of his dog named Simba. Out of the blue, reports emerged that he was homesick and had other family issues to sort out. Argentina’s Radio La Red (via Sun) reported that Los Millonarios have already contacted Spurs over a potential deal.

However, Mauricio Pochettino has brushed aside those stories and claim that the fleet-footed winger is totally focused on his recovery and is happy with the Lilywhites. But no return date has been mentioned.

The former Southampton boss said:

“You never know where they come from but he is happy and we keep in touch every day. Maybe he was a bit worried about some comments, and for that he expressed his feelings by social media.

“He is very happy here, focused. He suffered a lot because he likes to play and be on the pitch. These rumours don’t help him. We tried to advise him only to be focused and to recover as quickly as possible. He should forget all that has happened around him.”

Eyebrows were raised when Tottenham splashed a club-record fee of £30 million to land Lamela in 2013 after he racked up 19 goals out of 62 appearances for Roma. Things didn’t go according to plan in the Premier League for the winger as he stumbled to make a grade when he arrived but gradually offered glimmers of hope. Last season, he was an integral part of Spurs’ title challenge and made a reasonable start this term too yet only for injury derailing his progress.

On the other hand, even if Lamela returns to full fitness, he still has to bid for time on the bench first. Spurs have been performing like genuine title contenders this season and boast one of the most valuable squad depths in the league. Pochettino has barely missed his compatriot as Harry Kane and Dele Alli are scoring for fun. Second-placed Spurs have kept on the coattails of Chelsea, who hold 9 points lead at the peak of the league.

Therefore, the lack of playing minutes could nudge Lamela towards the exit door and it wouldn’t be a mistake as many are still saying that he hasn’t truly justified his price-tag. If that happens, River Plate will be keen to secure the signature of the attacker before European giants arrive on the scene.

After a disappointing goalless draw at the Stadium of Light in midweek, Tottenham will be eyeing for maximum points when they welcome Middlesbrough to home soil.

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