Tottenham's summer acquisition of Erik Lamela hasn't been as productive as the north London outfit might have hoped, but the club are already at risk of seeing the Argentine leave the club.
That's according to the latest reports, which claim that Lamela is seeking a route out of White Hart Lane in January and a number of clubs unsurprisingly showing interest.
The Mirror say that the 21-year-old is hoping to seal a loan move back to Serie A just four months after making the £30 million switch from Roma.
It's just one of the many obstacles that interim manager Tim Sherwood will be faced with not just in January, but in the coming six months as a whole.
A report from the Mirror's Darren Lewis reads:
The 21-year-old Argentinean made the request while Andre Villas-Boas was still at White Hart Lane. Lamela is desperate to play every week to keep his World Cup dream alive.
Although he has publicly declared he is up for the challenge of breaking into the Spurs team, his private frustrations are well known and have attracted interest from a number of top European clubs.
Something that's extremely promising for the new coach will be the attacker's work ethic. Following the draw with West Brom, Hotspur Related on Twitter posted images of the player staying behind to train on his own:
As had been predicted at the time, Gareth Bale's departure from Tottenham allowed Andre Villas-Boas to nurture a bigger squad of stars as opposed to just the one talisman.
However, that plan hasn't gone accordingly and Lamela has been just one of those leaving a taste of disappointment thus far.
Should Tottenham push on with Lamela or give him some time away?
The South American is undoubtedly a huge talent when enjoying a good stretch of form, but he has struggled in adapting to the style of the English top flight.
Lamela has made just three Premier League starts this season and is yet to score his first league goal for Spurs, his best football instead coming in the club's Europa League efforts.
That being said, there's a long time left to run on a contract that doesn't expire until 2018, and it's far from unheard of to see a player so young taking his time to settle into new surroundings.
Lamela was one of those three players mentioned by the Daily Mail's Matt Barlow as being one of the signings that Villas-Boas didn't encourage, and was instead pushed through by chairman Daniel Levy and technical director Franco Baldini.
However, regardless of who brought him to the club, it's Sherwood's task to ensure that all components fit the club's needs, Lamela having more pressure than any considering he's the club's record transfer signing.
The Times' Gary Jacob has noted that the gargantuan fee does make any sort of departure unlikely:
One crucial aspect to finding the forward's success will be consistency in the line-up. Spurs' onslaught of summer business has meant that a steady starting XI has been near impossible to come upon, along with a consistent formation.
If Lamela can find his place in amongst the first team, the more likely it is that north Londoners will see a greater portion of that footwork and fine playmaking that attracted Tottenham to the former Roma starlet in the first place.
Though things aren't going according to the blueprint right now, the case is far from lost, and Lamela's perseverance will be critical in the winger's Premier League story.