Pochettino: I hope 'important' Tottenham fringe player plays in the World Cup (not Winks)
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has heaped praise on attacking midfielder Erik Lamela after his impressive cameo performance in the 5-1 Premier League win over Stoke City at Wembley Stadium.
The 25-year-old had been out for 13 months with a hip injury and got a great reception from the Spurs fans when he replaced the disappointing Dele Alli on 67 minutes.
The Argentinian was making his third appearance for Spurs since suffering a serious hip injury in an EFL Cup defeat at Liverpool in October 2016.
His compatriot Pochettino was full of praise for the attacker and revealed he is a big part of his plans as he returns to full fitness.
“I think Lamela can be so important. I hope and wish that the national team will call him up for the World Cup,” said Pochettino, as quoted by football.london.
“His qualities are fantastic. We’re going to push him to show his real qualities.”
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Spurs took the lead after 21 minutes at Wembley on Saturday when Stoke defender Ryan Shawcross converted Son Heung-min’s cross into his own net.
Pochettino’s side then ran riot in the second half with three goals in 12 minutes, First, Son got the goal his man-of-the-match performance deserved with a brilliant finish after being put through by Dele Alli.
Harry Kane then made the score 3-0 with a powerful header from left-back Ben Davies’ cross, before drilling in number four on 65 minutes.
Christian Eriksen made it five with a brilliant finish after another fine pass by Son, before Shawcross made amends for his own goal by pulling one back for Stoke late on.
Spurs are now one point behind fourth-placed Liverpool in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League, although their top-four rivals are in action tomorrow against Everton.
In other Tottenham news, here are the player ratings from the Premier League clash at Wembley this afternoon.