'Jury is still out on Lamela' - Sherwood rejects claims Tottenham forward will play again this season

The Argentine has struggled with injuries this season and the Spurs manager suggested there are doubts over his future at White Hart Lane
Tim Sherwood has rejected claims that record signing Erik Lamela will feature again for Tottenham this season, casting doubt on his future at White Hart Lane.

The club-record signing has not featured for the north Londoners this year, with thigh and back injuries limiting his playing time. Yet recent media reports claimed Lamela could return before the end of the season, though Sherwood moved quickly to quash those suggestions.

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And he also felt it was up in the air as to whether Lamela will live up to his £26 million price-tag next season.

“There’ll be no chance Erik’s fit,” he told reporters. “I read in the paper, or someone told me, that the hierarchy here are asking for him to get more opportunities. Chance would be a fine thing, he’s injured.

“Can he kick on and be a big player next season? You know what, I haven’t seen enough of him. He’s never been fit. I think he was fit for about three weeks while I was in charge, and then he’s been out injured.

“That’s still an unknown quantity as far as I’m concerned. I’ve assessed the rest of the squad and I’ve got my ideas on who’s capable and probably who’s not. With Erik, the jury’s still out because I haven’t seen enough of him. He’s been very unfortunate.

“I think the benefit he will have is he’ll be settled so he’ll improve from that but, as regards settling into the Premier League, I think the jury’s still out because he’s not played enough football.”

Sherwood did, however, hit back at those who have branded the ex-Roma star a flop, saying: “I think it’s unfair because obviously he’s not been fit so it’s been hard to judge. The price isn’t his fault. He comes with a huge price tag but it’s not Erik that sets that price.”

Lamela is set to be working under a new manager at Tottenham next season, with Sherwood set to leave his post and Louis Van Gaal the man likely to take the reins.