Lamela targets Spurs history – in footsteps of Ardiles and Villa
Saturday’s Champions League final. However, after a torrid few years which forced him to question his future after troubles with hip injuries, he is grateful to feature at all the Wanda Metropolitano stadium.
“The worst moment was the injury to my hips,” he said at Tottenham’s open day ahead of flying to Madrid. “For so long I was not able to play, longer than I want to remember. It was a very tough time. Now getting to the final is like a present for me for all that happened. I am enjoying it because I know the bad things that can happen in football. We have worked so hard to get to the final. We’re not lucky to be here. We deserve it for the way we have played and battled.”
Injuries have been a persistent theme through Lamela’s time at Tottenham. He missed a year from 2016 to 2017 with a hip problem, and is now appreciating every opportunity.
“For a long time I had to accept I couldn’t play and that was very frustrating for me,” he said. “There were a lot of bad periods. That is why I am enjoying myself preparing for this game. I am training with a smile. I am so happy to be a part of this.”
Lamela says he feels no nerves ahead of taking on Jurgen Klopp’s side, who are favourites to lift the cup. “I think it is a game we have to enjoy,” he said. “When we were young we dreamed of playing these games and now we have the opportunity. We need to work hard and focus this week, and when we get to the stadium and get on to the pitch we need to know what our responsibilities are.
“But we need to enjoy and try to take the opportunity to be part of history for this club. We have a great opportunity with this game. We have to enjoy it.”
Becoming a father, he says, has changed his life. “My son is the most important thing in my life. Football is football, but life is life. I am so happy at being a father and reaching the Champions League final. Hopefully, I can be even happier on Saturday night.”
Meanwhile, Tottenham are believed to have tabled a £53million offer for highly-rated Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso.
The fee, which would break the club’s transfer record, signals the start of a busy summer of recruitment for Spurs, who have not signed a player for 18 months. They will face competition for the 23-year-old Argentine international, with other Premier League and La Liga clubs interested. Lo Celso, who has an £88 million release clause, scored 16 goals and registered six assists in 45 games for Betis last season.
Tottenham’s last signing was in January 2018, when they paid PSG £23 million for Lucas Moura. Their record signing is Davinson Sanchez for £42 million from Ajax in August 2017.