Player analysis: What will Tottenham be getting should they sign Erik Lamela?
A look at the 21-year-old Roma striker after he was linked with a £30m move to Spurs
Tottenham appear to be ready to replace Gareth Bale with the addition of Anzhi Makhachkala attacking midfielder Willian and Roma striker Erik Lemela.
And while Willian has been linked with a move to England for quite some time, not much is known about the 21-year-old Lamela, who has already made his debut for the Argentinian national side despite his young age.
Lamela began his career with Argentine club River Plate, whose other notable names include players such as Hernan Crespo, Esteban Cambiasso, Javier Mascherano, Gonzalo Higuain, Radamel Falcao and Alexis Sanchez to name just a handful.
He spent three years with the club after making his debut in 2008, but his breakthrough season came in 2010-11, where he made 34 appearances in the league, scoring four goals along the way, but due to the aggregate format of the Argentine Primera Division, River Plate were relegated despite finishing in sixth place.
That summer he moved to Italy to join his current club Roma – still aged just 19 – in a rather complicated deal that has become accustomed to signing South American players with third party ownership.
Roma paid an initial €12m (£10.2m) to River Plate, and an additional £1.7m once he made 20 appearances as well as paying £2.7m to Orel B.V – an agent company that owned the rights to lamella – which will increase by 10% if Lamela is sold for more than what Roma paid for him. They were also made to pay a further £2.6m to the Government of Argentina.
His first season with Roma saw him register six goals and six assists in 31 appearances in all competitions, but last season saw him improve with 15 goals in Serie A, which has alerted Tottenham to his growing potential.
Lamela is attracting reports of a £30m bid to lure him away from Italy, while Roma’s sporting director Walter Sabatini has been seen in London ahead of negotiations over a move by Spurs for the 21-year-old.
Argentina have identified Lamela as a crucial part of their squad ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Brazil, although the country have a wealth of striking options in Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and Higuain, not to mention a certain Lionel Messi.
Should he move to White Hart Lane, Lamela would provide stiff competition for new signing Roberto Soldado, who got his account underway on his debut on Sunday when he converted a penalty to give Andre Villas-Boas’ side victory over Crystal Palace.
Watch Lamela in action...
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