Michael Brown has questioned whether Tottenham forward Erik Lamela has got the fitness levels to remain a regular among the starting XI under Jose Mourinho.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Spurs and Sheffield United midfielder admits the 28-year-old can be “unbelievable” but has a chronic condition that severely limits his game time.
Lamela started Tottenham’s first game back from lockdown – the 1-1 draw against Manchester United – and managed to play 70 minutes before being subbed off for Gedson Fernandes.
He was then omitted from the team in favour of Dele Alli in last night’s 2-0 win over West Ham although the came off the bench after 59 minutes when the scoreline was still goalless.
With Tottenham now facing two games a week for the majority of the season, Brown has cast doubts over whether Lamela will be able to handle the intense demands.
Brown told Football Insider: “Erik Lamela’s got that unbelievable ability but it just comes down to that consistency. Is he one of those who can handle this amount of loading, in regards of so many minutes, especially when they haven’t played?
“They’ll be aware of that, they’ve got a super sports science team who understand everything.
“With Lamela, you can play well well, yeah, but you’ve got to look and say: ‘We’ve got this amount of games in a short period of time, how can you manage it?'”
Lamela has managed to chip in with four goals and six assists for Jose Mourinho’s men this season, although only two of his strikes have come in the Premier League.
The Argentina international has the likes of Dele Alli and Giovano Lo Celso for competition in the attacking midfield role at Spurs.
In other Tottenham news, Paul Robinson has torn into a Spurs defender.
PLUS: Subscribe for free to our brilliant new YouTube channel for daily videos, interviews with our top pundits and special guests, and all the latest insight into the club you love.