TRANSFER NEWS

Lamela happy at Spurs amid Inter links

The 25-year-old had offers to leave Spurs for Serie A in January but says his loyalty is with the north London club and their manager

Tottenham winger Erik Lamela insists he is not thinking about a return to Italy, claiming that he now loves living in London after initial concerns.

The 25-year-old originally struggled to settle in the capital following his £26 million move from Roma in 2013 before establishing himself as a first-team regular under Mauricio Pochettino.

Lamela then spent over a year on the sidelines because of a reoccurring hip injury and has returned to fitness to find playing time at Spurs limited.

A loan move to Southampton was said to be close during the January transfer window, while a host of Serie A clubs including Inter also claimed an interest, only for Lamela to commit to Tottenham for the remainder of the 2017-18 campaign.

And, though Lamela admits he had thought about leaving England previously, his loyalty now firmly sits with Spurs as they look to secure a top-four finish in the second half of the season.

“There’s never been anything with the Bianconeri. Inter? I only think about the club I’m at, and I am very good here at Tottenham,” Lamela told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “The club is getting better and better, and I love living in London.

“Pochettino is from Argentina like me and he knows that it is not easy for a young player to settle in quickly in a completely different culture.

“At the beginning I had many problems with the language, injuries and different football.

“After the first season many people told me to leave England, but I didn’t want to give up, it was a challenge.

“Now I’m still here, so I made the right choice.”

Lamela was used as a substitute during the latter stages of Tottenham’s 2-2 draw with Liverpool on Sunday, one of his 13 bit-part appearances during the current season.

An injury-time goal from Harry Kane secured a point for Pochettino’s side just moments after Mohamed Salah had put the hosts 2-1 ahead in the 91st minute at Anfield, and Lamela believes Spurs can use the result as motivation ahead of their upcoming Champions League tie against Juventus