Erik Lamela Form Warrants Start Against Aston Villa

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Erik Lamela
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 04: Lucas Moura of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates with teammate Erik Lamela after scoring his team's first goal during the 2019 International Champions Cup match between Tottenham Hotspur and FC Internazionale at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on August 04, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Burstow/Getty Images)

Erik Lamela really must improve his consistency in his performances for Tottenham Hotspur this season. Since arriving at the club in 2013, he has undergone many fluctuations in form. This is partly due to confidence and mentality, but his injuries have also pegged him back. As a result, he is often pushed out of the starting eleven.

Erik Lamela Form Deserves Start Against Aston Villa

As usual, Lamela started the season well with another impressive pre-season shift. And, it can be argued that he has played well enough to start against Aston Villa on Saturday. But, whether or not he will be able to sustain any kind of form is yet to be seen. With Son suspended until the 18th of August, a great opportunity arises for Lamela.

On his day, the Argentinian can delight with his technical ability and bully with his physical presence. If he can maintain this kind of form he would be a big boost to the Spurs squad.

Pre-Season

During pre-season, ‘Coco’ scored against Juventus and Inter, and set up Lucas Moura for an assist. Whilst this is hardly a groundbreaking return, it signifies the kind of form that Lamela is in. Last season, he scored six goals in 33 appearances and grabbed three assists. Thus, his preseason form is indicative of a much more consistent goal contribution to the team.

In every match he has been involved in, he has been full of energy and commitment. This is arguably one of his trademarks; the ‘bulldog’ in midfield. Indeed, some of his tackles were more suitable for a defensive midfielder rather than a forward.

There were a few moments of magic, including some dribbles past multiple defenders. His dribbling with that distinctive ball-rolling style is beginning to achieve some kind of fluency. However, it can also be argued that a few times he takes on one man too many.

His best piece of play was beating the majority of the Real Madrid defence before clipping a perfect pass to Harry Kane at the back post, forcing the keeper into a good save.

Aston Villa Challenge

Aston Villa are back in the top flight. And, they have been heavily strengthening their squad with twelve signings so far. Thus, this is a side that will absolutely want to get a result against Spurs at their new stadium.

Lamela is a suitable candidate for this fixture. After all, he has high energy levels and will relish any physical battle that the Villans might bring. Whether it is Kortney Hause or Tyrone Mings at the back, ‘Coco’ will not be afraid to put a tackle in.

Predicted Front Line-Up

Usually, if Lamela wants to start, he’ll have to beat Lucas Moura or Son Heung-Min to the team sheet.

Son has been a revelation for the club. He is as talismanic for Tottenham as he is for his country, relishing every moment on the field. This is a player that plays with a smile but is so deadly in front of goal. Few players can use their weak foot to real effect but Son excels with both feet. Preferring his right-foot, Son also has a deadly left foot in reserve. Therein lies something that Lamela can’t really match up to, since he is rather one-footed. But, his left is still potent enough.

However, with Son suspended, this opens the door to a start alongside Moura. The Brazilian was unfortunate not to start in the Champions League final. His stock has shot up after that unforgettable hat-trick against Ajax. In pre-season, he looks just as sharp, if not sharper, with his samba stepping feet. With regards to an Argentine-Brazilian connection, they have already shown glimpses of good link-up play. Indeed, as aforementioned, Lamela set up Moura for a goal. If Pochettino deploys the two together this is the more likely scenario; Moura’s pace is electric and Lamela can find a good final ball most of the time.

Verdict

Erik Lamela is ready and raring for a new season. The opening fixture against Aston Villa is a big chance for the player to try and cement himself a place in the starting eleven. Spurs may yet make some big signings, including the likes of Paulo Dybala. But, Lamela has performed well in pre-season and deserves his place in the starting eleven.

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