After eight years, it finally seems like the ballad of Erik Lamela at Tottenham Hotspur is drawing to a close.
It’s not always been good – in fact, it rarely has to be honest – but Lamela has never failed to keep things interesting in north London. Whether it be some on-field magic, some satisfying sh*thousery or some silky skills, the Argentine should be given a fond farewell by most Spurs fans when he jets off to Sevilla.
Here are eight of the most memorable moments from his time at Tottenham…
Erik Lamela has played in a lot of Premier League games where he didn’t score.
However, back in August 2019 he defied conventional wisdom, making the net bulge with a composed effort from outside the area against Manchester City.
Spurs were getting battered at the time, so Lamela’s goal was not only attractive but also vital. His side went on to draw 2-2, albeit with a large slice of VAR controversy helping them out at the end.
In February 2018 Lamela treated us – or angered us, depending on your perspective – to one of his best ever dives.
Making the most of Virgil van Dijk’s caressing his arse with his knee, the Argentine threw himself to the floor with panache. Isolated, the incident is perhaps not worthy of inclusion on this list.
It is only when you remember that the resultant penalty – taken with 90 seconds left to play – rescued Spurs a point at Anfield.
Tottenham 5-4 Leicester City was the epitome of ‘last day of the season, who cares’ vibes.
The defending might have been slack but going forward both sides were electric with Lamela playing a big role. First he pulled a goal back when Spurs were 3-1 down after 47 minutes.
He then helped level things up, prodding home a deflected effort which went in off Christian Fuchs. Another goal soon came with Lamela side footing Kyle Walker-Peters cross past Kasper Schmeichel.
After going 25 Premier League games without scoring, Lamela finally grabbed his first goal in a 2-1 victory over Burnley in December 2014.
What a strike it was as well.
Cutting in from the right hand side, Lamela left Ben Mee for dead before bending home a delicious effort from 25 yards.
Many tipped Lamela for greatness after the performance. Many were wrong.
Lamela’s only Tottenham hat-trick came in a Europa League group game against Monaco back in 2015.
You’ve heard of the perfect hat trick, right? Well, this was definitely not that.
The first was a tap-in and the second came courtesy of some horrific goalkeeping. The third was pretty good in fairness – a right-footed drive to the near post.
On the bench for Monaco that day was a young Kylian Mbappe. Did Lamela’s display inspire him to greatness? Yes. Yes it did.
Lamela is well known as a master of the dark arts, but even by his own high standards getting Anthony Martial sent off was a remarkable piece of sh*thousery.
The contact was errrrr, minimal to say the least, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left fuming after the game, uttering that immortal and oddly specific line: “If that was my son he would live on water and bread for two weeks.”
It might have been evil, but it helped his side immeasurably. After Martial’s dismissal Spurs went on to cruise to a 6-1 victory in what was the undoubted highpoint of the Jose Mourinho era.
The reason Tottenham persisted with Lamela for so long is that he is capable of producing moments like this.
The stakes may not have been the highest – he scored the goal in a Europa League group game against Greek minnows Asteras Tripolis – but the technique on display was remarkable.
A the lack of crowds, fixture congestion and bizarre scheduling made the 2020/21 Premier League season a bit of a slog at times.
Lamela at least made sure the North London Derby was a memorable, netting the goal of the season…before being shown a red card.
The strike can be compared to few if any scored before. Somehow Lamela managed to nutmeg Thomas Partey with a driven rabona which flew into the bottom corner while mouths gaped in living rooms and pubs across the capital and beyond.
Later he was sent for an early bath for the second of two offences that were as petty as each other. Lamela’s display that afternoon encapsulated his very essence, not just as a player, but as a human being.