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Lamela will star for Spurs, says Pochettino

ESPN staff
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Erik Lamela set up both of Tottenham's goals in their 2-1 win at AEL Limassol © Getty Images
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Erik Lamela can emerge as a star for Tottenham this season and finally live up to his £30 million transfer fee, according to his manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Lamela made an influential contribution to his side's 2-1 win against AEL Limassol in the Europa League play-off tie on Thursday evening when he was thrown on with 18 minutes remaining.

Having failed to make an impact at Spurs since his move from Roma last summer, Lamela set up goals for Roberto Soldado and Harry Kane to turn the match on its head and seal a 2-1 win.

"It is never easy in the first season for a player from another country and it is true that it was difficult for him," Pochettino said of his compatriot Lamela.

"He was injured, too, and we are confident with him that with time and hard work, like he has done in preseason, that he can go far. He was very disappointed about last season but the past is the past.

"We need him to look forward, believe in his skill and condition and work very, very hard. With confidence and time he will show his value. You always nominate players on the bench who can have an impact and all three subs had an impact on the game."

Pochettino admitted he was not a big fan of the Europa League during his time as Southampton manager, but he was relieved to come through his side's first big test in European competition.

"This was a very tough game a difficult game, a hard game because he conditions were difficult and the weather was difficult," he added. "I'm happy with the performance. In the end 2-1 for us is an important result for us.

"It is true that in the first half we started to make mistakes, but in general, I am happy and looking forward to the next game, on Sunday.

"We created two or three chances in the first seven minutes. I think it's true that we believed that it would be an easy game, but we knew when we watched their game against Zenit [Limassol won the game 1-0] that they have a very good team.

"In the second half we started the game, I think we restarted the game in the second half and I'm very satisfied after the game."

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