By Alex Taylor
Tottenham star Erik Lamela has silenced rumours claiming that he will be leaving White Hart Lane this summer.
It is believed that the pacy winger came close to a move to Marseille during last summer’s transfer window, but has since developed into an integral member of Mauricio Pochettino’s team.
The Argentina international scored 10 goals and provided nine assists in all competitions last season and has now dismissed speculation linking him with a move away from north London.
“Ever since I came to Tottenham I have always heard that I am supposed to be leaving,” he told the Evening Standard. “It is the same every summer – I do not know why.
“I have never wanted to leave or thought about leaving. I enjoy playing for the club and get on well with all the players, the staff and supporters. I feel a big connection with the club and especially the fans who have always supported me so much.”
Lamela has two years remaining on the contract he signed when he joined from Roma in the summer of 2013 for £25.8million and is one of a number of first-teamers that Spurs want to tie down to an extended deal.
The forward struggled in his first 18 months at White Hart Lane but he has prospered under the tutelage of fellow Argentine Pochettino.
The attacking midfielder played a staring role last season as Tottenham embarked on an unlikely title challenge which, though ending in disappointment at the hands of Leicester, will provide them with a first appearance in the Champions League since 2010/11.
In other Tottenham team news, boss Pochettino criticised the referee following his side’s latest defeat in their pre-season campaign.