It was another busy transfer window in Ligue 1, with the majority of French clubs improving their alliance to compete with the very best of French football. Surprisingly, French giants Marseille swooped in the later stages for out of favour Tottenham Hotspur winger and Argentina international Erik Lamela.
Unfortunately, Lamela has not lived up to the £30m price tag which Spurs bought him for from AS Roma and was linked with many clubs during the summer transfer window. With Marseille losing Florian Thauvin heading off to Newcastle for a staggering £13m, which some were skeptical why Newcastle spent that much on the French youngster, and Remy Cabella went the other way. Remy Cabella needs no introduction to Ligue 1 with his previous appearances with Montpellier, this was some great business from Marseille, but they did not want to stop there.
Many reports were stating the deal was done, according to the most reliable sources like Di Marzio etc. Everything looked done, complete and it looked like Marseille got their man. But surprisingly Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino blocked the move. Tottenham fans were very frustrated from this as they have ‘run out of patience’ with the young Argentine as he fails to deliver game in game out. Even though Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy wasn’t reluctant to let their record signing leave, Pochettino previously stated Lamela can play centrally, with Tottenham’s lack of striker options it was understandable what Mauricio was saying. With signing of former Lyon attacker, Clinton N’jie for £12m this obviously added a lot more depth to this role.
People would suggest Erik would suit the French league as it is more tactical and less physical then the Barclays Premier League, going to play in France would be perfect for him. As former Montpellier man, Remy Cabella struggled with the fast pace and physicality he had no hesitation coming back. Lamela’s agent stated he ‘suits’ Serie A, and with these leagues being some what similar, it looked like there was no longer future for Lamela at Spurs. It will be very interesting to see if Tottenham strengthen their striker options in the January transfer window early, and also if Marseille will approach Erik Lamela for a second time, and have a second stab to get the man they want.