December 21 2013 Latest news:
By Tom Moore
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Tottenham legend Ossie Ardiles says he has been hugely impressed with Christian Eriksen’s immediate impact at White Hart Lane – but he believes his countryman Erik Lamela will prove to be the better signing.
Eriksen has enjoyed a fine start to his career with the Lilywhites, scoring once and helping to create another three goals in his four appearances – including Spurs’ strike against Chelsea on Saturday.
Comparisons have been made with Arsenal’s £42million man Mesut Ozil and, at £11.5million, the 21-year-old Dane looks like one of the best signings of the summer.
Lamela cost more than double that figure at £26m but has had a slightly quieter start to life in north London.
The 21-year-old has set up two goals – including the late winner at Cardiff – and impressed in the Capital One Cup victory at Aston Villa, but he is yet to start a Premier League game and he was an unused substitute during Saturday’s London derby with Chelsea.
Lamela is likely to get another chance to show his qualities tomorrow evening when Spurs face Anzhi in the Europa League – and Ardiles believes that his fellow Argentine will go on to be the best of Spurs’ summer recruits.
“I am very impressed with Eriksen, immediately he’s been wonderful,” said the 61-year-old. “Lamela will take more time, but over the long term he’ll be our best buy. I’m looking forward to seeing him develop.
“In Argentina, Lamela played for River Plate and he was named the new Messi. He moved to Roma and was labelled the new Totti. That gives you an idea how talented he is.
“He can play behind the centre forward, on the right and the left. He’s not as powerful as Gareth Bale but he’s much more skilful - he’s a different kind of player. I would say he has a more difficult time to adjust, but I believe he will be our best buy this summer.
“It’s always very difficult to replace a player like Gareth Bale. He was absolutely wonderful last season and I was worried how he was going to be replaced, but Tottenham did incredibly well over the summer and all [of the signings] are very talented.
“Last season we were a one-player team - now we are much more of a team and looking stronger.”
Another Spurs legend, Glenn Hoddle, has also had his say on Andre Villas-Boas’ newest stars – and he feels Eriksen has been the key addition.
“He [Eriksen] is just what the club needed,” said the 55-year-old. “We were looking a bit too predictable, we needed someone to open the door.
“He’s scored a wonderful goal in the Europa League, he’s created a couple of goals for other people, he’s elevated the team right where it was needed. I think Spurs have got a chance of the top four.”
Ossie Ardiles and Glenn Hoddle were speaking to promote Hoddle’s Zapstarz project – a 25-week programme aiming to find special new talent and improve all young players who take part. For information visit www.zapsportz.com.