Jose Mourinho has stressed the importance of Erik Lamela returning from injury for the festive period as Tottenham’s fixture list begins to look busy.
The Spurs boss doesn’t think Lamela will be ready for the crunch clash with Chelsea on December 22nd or the Boxing Day meeting with Brighton but thinks he may return for either Norwich City away on December 28th or Southampton away on January 1st.
Lamela has struggled with injuries since joining Tottenham in the summer of 2013, often missing long spells of the season, and the current campaign has been no different.
The Argentine is yet to train under Jose Mourinho, who is growing frustrated with Lamela’s unavailability ahead of a crucial phase of the season.
“Been out for two months… not one training session with me,” Mourinho said (via the London Evening Standard). “Never. I’m still waiting for his first training session. Hopefully soon. I hope I can have him for Christmas. When I say Christmas, I’m not saying Chelsea on the 22nd. But I hope maybe the 28th, first of January.
“I need him. If I am to play with more defensive players than I do and have only one or two attackers then I have two on the bench. In this moment with Dele [Alli] and [Heung-min] Son and [Harry] Kane then we have not attacking players on the bench. So I need Lamela.”
Mourinho’s comments could suggest one of two things. Either he sees Lamela as an important part of his plans, or he needs the 27-year-old fit because Christian Eriksen is likely to leave in the January transfer window.
Either way, having Lamela back and available can only be a good thing with injuries likely to occur in the coming weeks.