Former Tottenham star backs new boy to shine in England.
Former Tottenham star Ricky Villa is excited by the club’s signing of Argentine starlet Erik Lamela from Roma, according to Goal.com.
The 21-year-old has been all but confirmed as a Tottenham player, completing a club-record £30million move from Serie A after emerging as one of the best young players in the Italian league.
Villa is another famous Argentine to play for Spurs, and believes Lamela has all the key ingredients to be a top player for the club, despite being relatively inexperienced in European football.
The skillful attacking midfielder had a breakthrough season for Roma last year, and Villa is tipping him to ‘improve dramatically’ following his big-money move to White Hart Lane.
“Lamela will improve dramatically as a player at Tottenham,” he said. “I think the arrival of Erik Lamela to Tottenham is fantastic. The manager is building up a super-competitive team.”
Villa admits it was a culture shock for him and his fellow countryman Ossie Ardilles when they moved to Tottenham in the late 70s, but believes it is easier these days for international stars to make themselves at home in England.
“I don’t think he’ll have any trouble adapting when it comes purely to football,” he added. “It’s true that the Premier League is not the same as Serie A, but Erik already has the European footballer mentality.
“He’s got a different level of discipline, a different kind of training, of dealing with the press. He learned all that in his two years in Italy. Besides, the manager is from Portugal, and Portuguese people in general understand South American footballers better.
“These days it is a lot easier to adapt. You’ve got social networks, internet, etc. With Osvaldo [Ardiles], we went into what was in effect a different world. We were disconnected, it was like an adventure for us. We had no contact whatsoever with Argentina. We were used to a completely different life. You had to walk for a while to find a telephone and make a call.”
Lamela joins a host of new faces at Spurs this summer, and may not be the last of the summer arrivals, with Spurs supposedly closing in on a deal for Ajax star Christian Eriksen, as well as Steaua Bucharest defender Vlad Chiriches.