Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood has insisted 30 million pound record signing Erik Lamela will not be leaving the club in this January transfer window.
Italian champions Juventus have been heavily linked with a bid to sign Lamela in recent days, amid reports that they are willing to offer striker Mirko Vucinic as part of a potential deal, but it seems Sherwood is determined to try to integrate the 21-year-old into his Spurs lineup.
Lamela has started just three Premier League games for Tottenham since his move from Roma in August, but Sherwood is convinced he will adapt to life in the Premier League and emerge as key player for the club.
“He won’t be leaving on loan in this transfer window,” Sherwood said, when asked about Lamela’s future at his news conference ahead of Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane.
“Erik needs that time to acclimatise to a new country and the tempo of the games, especially over that Christmas period where they come thick and fast.
“We know what a talent he is and players need time to settle. He doesn’t speak English and is still feeling fatigued in one of his thighs.
“We’re going to take it nice and steady with him and I really want to put him on the stage when he’s ready to perform, rather than let people judge him when he’s half-cocked.”
Meanwhile, Sherwood has insisted Jermain Defoe’s imminent departure does not mean he will be forced to pursue a major signing in this transfer window, as he believes he has enough attacking options in the squad he inherited from Andre Villas-Boas last month.
“We are always looking (for players), but I don’t feel this is something that is pressing,” Sherwood added. “We have (Roberto Soldado), we have (Emmanuel) Adebayor, who is in a rich vein of form at the moment. Nacer Chadli, Erik Lamela can play off the front. We have a lot of goal scoring options.
“Also there is Gylfi Sigurdsson and we know he has got an eye for a goal and has a good scoring record. Harry Kane is another young boy who can come in.
“I feel we have enough goals in a number of positions around the squad, so unless something drastic happens with one of those boys in the next few weeks, we may act, but we have no plans to do that now.”
Sherwood revealed that Lamela's thigh injury may rule him out of the game against Palace on Saturday, with Younes Kaboul (thigh), Jan Vertonghen (ankle), Sandro (calf) and Paulinho (ankle) all certain to miss the match.
However, the trio of Lewis Holtby, Andros Townsend and Gylfi Sigurdsson have all shaken off injury concerns and should be available for the visit of the Eagles.
Meanwhile, Tottenham have confirmed that their game against Crystal Palace will go ahead on Saturday despite a clash with a planned vigil for Mark Duggan.
Duggan's killing in Tottenham sparked riots in the area in 2011 and this week an inquest ruled that he was lawfully killed by police.
A vigil will be held outside Tottenham police station on Saturday afternoon at 14:00 GMT -- just an hour before Spurs host Palace in a London derby.
Given that the station is less than a mile from White Hart Lane, fears were raised about fans' security, even though organisers insist the vigil will not descend into violence.
But on Friday afternoon Tottenham allayed fears the game would be called off or postponed, posting the following on their official Twitter feed:
Contrary to reports there are no plans to call off tomorrow's game vs Palace with the Duggan vigil scheduled for 2pm in Tottenham.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 10, 2014
The Club is in contact with the Met Police and will provide further updates as and when they become available.— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 10, 2014
More police will be on patrol in the Tottenham area during the vigil.
It is understood that security officials at the game will also be in contact with police who attend the gathering.
Information from the Press Association was used in this report