Erik Lamela admits struggling to adapt following £30m transfer to Tottenham

The Argentina forward fears for his place at the World Cup
  • @simonrice

Erik Lamela has admitted struggling to adapt to the physical nature of the Premier League following his move to Tottenham, fearing it could cost him a place at the World Cup.

The Argentina forward moved to White Hart Lane from Roma in a £30m deal over the summer but has failed to establish himself since his switch to north London.

Competition for places has been fierce, with the return of England hero Andros Townsend from a loan spell at QPR plus the addition of Nacer Chadli and the form of Gylfi Sigurdsson all conspiring to keep Lamela on the fringes. The return to fitness of Aaron Lennon will only exacerbate the situation.

Lamela, who is yet to start a league game for Spurs, is aware he must exert his influence soon.

“The national coach [Alejandro Sabella] called on me when I was in Rome but now I’m playing in England and I have to adapt quickly,” he said. “English football is more physical and not as tactical as the Italian game, and I talk to my team-mates about that.

“To keep my place in the national squad I have to make an impression for my club. Being with the national side is the dream for any footballer.

“I have played for Argentina at junior levels before but this is different, because you have the best players in the world around you. They can help you grow.”

Argentina are among the 21 teams to have already confirmed that place at next summer's tournament in Brazil.