Villas-Boas pondering Lamela start
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas is open-minded on where he will deploy club-record signing Erik Lamela, as he prepares to integrate the £30 million signing from Roma into his starting line-up.
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Lamela has enjoyed fleeting appearances in Tottenham’s last two league game against Arsenal and Norwich, but Villas-Boas has hinted he is ready to hand the Argentine youngster a start in one of the three games he has on his agenda in the coming days.
"His qualities are immense, they are not in doubt, but we just didn’t have enough time with him (for Sunday) due to his late arrival in the transfer window and the international game he played," Villas-Boas said ahead of the Europa League game against Tromso on Thursday evening.
"It was finally good for us to have a few days training with the team and there is a possibility (he could start against Tromso). He is selected for the game and a player of his quality will threaten to be in the team very soon.
"He has played in different positions up front from a young age. When he left River Plate, first he played behind the striker, then on the left, then as a right winger. The experience he has in three positions means he is creative in all three positions."
Villas-Boas went on to re-affirm his position that Emmanuel Adebayor would not be making a return to his first-team plans any time soon, despite suggestions from Jermain Defoe that the Togo striker still has something to offer if he is given a second chance at Tottenham.
Meanwhile, the Portuguese coach said he has been pleasantly surprised by the form of Andros Townsend this season, who has taken his chance in the team following an injury to Aaron Lennon.
"He came very motivated to do well after his loan," added the Spurs boss. "He was jumping for an opportunity. That opportunity arose due to Lennon’s injury and he took it. Sometimes a player on the fringe of the first XI don’t do enough to break into the team, but he has taken the opportunity.
"He is very explosive in his game, through changes of pace and his dribbling ability. He is difficult to control with his change of pace. He has developed a lot in the last year, on loan at QPR and with us. Hopefully he can develop into a top player."
Villas-Boas confirmed that wingers Nacer Chadli and Lennon will sit out the game against Tromso, with the prognosis on the latter a cause for concern for the Tottenham fitness staff.
Lennon is still nursing a foot injury sustained in the first game of the Premier League season, with Villas-Boas’ hoping to have the winger back in "a couple of weeks", even though he admitted it was "tough to predict" when the England winger will be fit to return to full training.