Pochettino laughs off Lamela exit talk

Date published: Friday 31st March 2017 11:45

Manager Mauricio Pochettino has laughed off suggestions Erik Lamela is looking to leave Tottenham this summer.

Lamela will travel to Barcelona on Saturday for surgery as he looks to kick-start his recovery from a hip injury, which has kept the winger out since October.

Pochettino admitted in January that Lamela had grown frustrated on the sidelines and even allowed him to have treatment at his former club Roma in a bid to reinvigorate the 25-year-old.

Spurs have confirmed Lamela will not feature again this season, with reports suggesting the Argentinian may have played his last game for the club and is seeking a return to Italy.

“That was so strange to hear,” Pochettino said.

“In the media Lamela is linked with different clubs and it’s so difficult for me to understand.

“It’s a player who has not played since October and all that he is suffering in the last four, five months, do you think that he is thinking to move? He is thinking to go to Italy? He is very happy here.

“The problems he has he was desperate and the club was desperate to find the solution.

“But I think it made me laugh, every time I hear all that in the media, because it is impossible for him, impossible for the club, impossible for his agent, impossible for his people, to think about moving. Where?

“Now he needs help, more he needs us to help him in the next few months. I think you know better than me that it does not make sense.”

Lamela was one of Tottenham’s star performers last season and appeared finally to have settled at White Hart Lane following his club-record £30million move from Roma in August 2013.

Pochettino believes Lamela has the necessary resilience to make a successful recovery.

“Now it’s so difficult. He is very focused to move to Barcelona (for surgery) on Saturday. I don’t believe it will be tough,” Pochettino said.

“He is a person who likes to work hard. He is very professional. If he starts to feel good and fixes the problem, the pain he feels in his hip, it will come quick to recover and be on the pitch again training with us.

“Now I think it’s a very difficult situation, very tough for him. He needs our love, our support, and to be sure that all is going well.”

Tottenham travel to Burnley on Saturday, looking to reduce a 10-point gap behind Chelsea while extending their advantage in the race for Champions League qualification.

It could prove a fruitful weekend for Spurs, given Manchester City and Arsenal go head-to-head on Sunday, but Burnley have lost only three matches at Turf Moor all season.

Sean Dyche’s men will also have been less affected by the international break, which saw the majority of Pochettino’s first-team squad reconvene on Thursday.

“It is difficult for us as nearly all the players are involved with national teams,” Pochettino said.

“Thursday was the first time we met all together here on the training ground to start to prepare for the game against Burnley.

“It is not much time but we need to accept that and be ready to compete.”

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