LONDON -- Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood has confirmed that club record signing Erik Lamela is unlikely to play for the club again this season.
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Confirmation that the midfielder, who cost Tottenham 30 million pounds to sign from Roma last summer, will be sidelined the rest of the season, ends a hugely disappointing opening season for the high-profile arrival. The 22-year-old Argentinian started just three Premier League games since joining Spurs.
"He probably not going to play again this season," Sherwood told reporters at Tottenham's Enfield training base. "He has been out for a very long time, so he is going to need a pre-season before he can play again.
"He has been unfortunate with injuries. It's a shame. He has picked up the knocks, and taking in the settling-in period, it is very difficult to do that if you can't go out there and perform. He has had a serious back injury.
"Recently he has taken a backseat, out of the spotlight. It has not been a case of him not being selected or not playing well because he has not been available. He is out of the picture because of his injury.
"Hopefully he is using this time to learn English and that will stand him in good stead when he comes back."
Sherwood went on to confirm that Lamela has spent time at former club Roma with their medical team in a bid to overcome his back problems, which refuse to go away.
"He's had some treatment from the Roma physios and our guys and he's been pretty much everywhere to solve the problem," continued Sherwood, who then hinted the medical attention Lamela has received in Italy has been less success than that provided by the Spurs doctors for Vlad Chiriches, who has overcome a similar back complaint.
"It is a similar injury to Vlad Chiriches, but our physios have been working on him and they have done a good job, we are delighted to have him back," he stated.
Sherwood went on to suggest Tottenham made mistakes in their recruitment policy last summer, as they spent more than 100 million pounds on seven overseas players following the world record sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid.
The Tottenham head coach, who is widely expected to be replaced this summer, claimed the club should have looked for talent with previous Premier League experience, as he used Roberto Martinez's Everton as an example of sound transfer dealings.
"I am a firm believer that Premier League experience is key," he added. "Yes, you can buy someone who has never played in the Premier League and he comes over and he is a revelation but its more of a risk doing that.
"If you want to look at any team you've got to look at Everton and what they've done in the transfer market, it's second to none. On deadline day last summer they looked like an average side and all of a sudden they make three signings and it turns them into what they are now.
"It was very cute from Martinez and whoever was involved in bringing them in because whoever brought them in, certainly they were Martinez's players he wanted.
"You've got Gareth Barry with 534 games or whatever it is in the Premier League, and that experience is crucial for any club. Romelu Lukaku was the best young player last season. He had that loan spell at Everton where he did brilliantly and he has it onto this year.
"Then there's Gerard Deulofeu who everyone knows is in development phase of football. He can be anything he possibly wants to be and he is showing that now. Everton have certainly done brilliantly in the transfer market."