Pochettino must resist ditching countryman in January at all costs

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Not even a wonder goal is enough to keep the rumour-mongers off Erik Lamela’s back at Tottenham, as the approaching January transfer window sees the number of Serie A sides reportedly willing to rescue the Argentine ratchet up.

The rabona strike Lamela notched for the Lilywhites in the Europa League last month had a coming-of-age feeling about it, the moment Spurs fans finally started to see some majesty from their record signing on a more regular basis.

However, since that jaw-dropping edge-of-the-box strike against Asteras at White Hart Lane the former Roma goal-getter has started just two games, only one of which has been in the Premier League.

That Mauricio Pochettino is choosing not to use Lamela in such times of trouble for his new club – Spurs have won only two of their last nine top-flight games and are now 9/1 for the top four – has attracted the attention of many an Italian side.

Juventus, Inter Milan and Roma are all reportedly keen to take the 22-year-old off the Spurs books this winter, but it would be wise for the struggling former Southampton manager to keep hold of his countryman, for the sake of his job.

Having lacked a cutting edge in general this season, keeping Lamela’s ability to perform the remarkable, however streaky that talent may be, remains one of few options for Spurs at the moment.

Lamela’s Spurs career is still young enough (he has only made 12 Premier League starts) to be saved and his flashes of brilliance indicate it can be.

With their top-four ambitions slipping through their fingers, it could be that staying patient and allowing Lamela to settle could be the one thing that reasserts their grip.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.