Should Tottenham Send Erik Lamela out on Loan in the January Transfer Window?
This slideshow will examine the transfer rumours linking Lamela with a loan move away from Spurs and tell you why he needs more time at Spurs.
Don't hesitate to comment below with your thoughts.
Erik Lamela Loan Speculation
Erik Lamela has only scored one goal and registered three assists in 12 combined Premier League/UEFA Europa League games for Spurs. Talk about mediocre.
To quote Tottenham great Ossie Ardiles, via his autobiography: "Often, a mediocre player with a lot of confidence is more of an asset than a Maradona lacking in self-belief."
No wonder media outlets are quick to link Lamela with a loan away from White Hart Lane: Atletico Madrid (per The Express), Fiorentina (per La Nazione, via Forza Italian Football) or Inter Milan (per The Metro).
Atleti, Fiorentina and Inter all have logical connections to Lamela that could lead some people to think, "Ah ha! Loaning him there makes perfect sense."
Atleti: Managed by Argentine Diego Simeone. Would be in line with what a then 12-year-old Lamela told Trans World Sport: "I prefer to play in Spain because the people speak my language over there."
Fiorentina: Spanish-speaking presence (Borja Valero, Gonzalo Rodriguez, Juan Cuadrado, David Pizarro, Joaquin, Facundo Roncaglia, Juan Vargas, Marcos Alonso, Matias Fernandez, Mario Gomez [as Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl found out], Giuseppe Rossi, et al.)
Inter: Argentine contingent (Esteban Cambiasso, Ricardo Alvarez, Rodrigo Palacio, Hugo Campagnaro, Walter Samuel, Javier Zanetti, Juan Pablo Carrizo, Diego Milito and Mauro Icardi.)
But if you have watched the aforementioned three teams this season, you would reach the conclusion that Lamela is better toughing it out at Spurs.
Atleti: Simeone's squad has the potential to win La Liga this season, so Lamela won't be given any leeway. Can he work as hard without the ball as Arda Turan or Koke?
Fiorentina: If Cuadrado, who has played all over the field, is given an extended run on the right—what use does Lamela serve? Cuadrado is faster, a more prolific dribbler and has a manic-drive to tackle.
Inter: Manager Walter Mazzarri plays a 3-5-1-1 with the wide-men being wing-backs, so Lamela would be a square peg in a round hole.
Does Erik Lamela Regret Tottenham Hotspur Transfer?
It is pointless for Erik Lamela to wonder what if he stayed at Roma.
Roma is the only unbeaten Serie A team this season, so it's natural to assume there must be a tinge of regret in his decision to sign with Tottenham Hotspur.
Roma have burst out of the starting blocks, something you could not foresee judging their performance last season.
They placed sixth and did not qualify for Europe.
Did they finish the season like champions? No.
They won three of their last six games, whereas Udinese ended the season on an eight-game winning streak.
Having conceded 56 goals in 38 games, Roma were tied with Atalanta for the third-worst defence in Serie A.
What did Roma management do? They sold Marquinhos, their best defender, to Paris Saint-Germain.
So, it's understandable why Lamela was open to leaving.
Under chairman Daniel Levy, Tottenham Hotspur are striving to be relevant, and their ambition played a main role in convincing Lamela to call White Hart Lane home.
Lamela needs to remind himself: "He made the right choice at the time, and it will work out."
Going on loan will only temporarily mask his struggles in England. This is why he needs to stay at Spurs and keep plugging away.
It Wasn't Easy for Ricky Villa Either
Speaking to David Hytner at The Guardian, Tottenham Hotspur manager Andre Villas-Boas reiterated his full support for Lamela.
It is going to take time.
But he has all the technical abilities that we see of a great player, so we have great belief in him. Now, he is together with his family, and Christmas time is going to be a totally different experience for him as well. This will be a key moment to his life.
We have been very careful with him and give him full support. It is a heavy price tag but one he deserved for what he did in Rome. I think we can nurture his full potential.
Note the "give him full support" part. Loaning Lamela out in the January transfer window is not giving him "full support," so there is another reason why he won't be loaned out.
Lamela isn't fluent in English, is still adjusting to life in England and needs more time just like Ricky Villa when he arrived at Tottenham Hotspur.
"The money was good, and the club was brilliant to me," Villa said, via Brian Viner at The Independent. "But I couldn't read the papers, couldn't watch television, and even though Ossie was here, I missed Argentina."
His then teammate Ossie Ardiles recounted how Villa struggled to adapt to England.
"Ricky wanted to go home from the moment he got here," Ardiles said, via Joe Bernstein at The Daily Mail. "He wouldn't even buy a mirror for his house. He didn't see the point in buying anything that was going to be too big and awkward to take back to Argentina when his contract ended."
This can be Lamela in a few years time for Spurs.