Villas-Boas: Lamela ready to shine for Tottenham

The Spurs boss reveals the Argentine could make his first start for the north London outfit on Thursday against Tromso and praises Andros Townsend for seizing his opportunity
Andre Villas-Boas believes new-boy Erik Lamela is ready to shine for Tottenham against Tromso in the Europa League on Thursday.

Spurs splashed out a club record €36 million to secure Lamela from Roma in the summer, but the 21-year-old has made only brief cameos opposite Arsenal and Norwich since arriving at White Hart Lane.

But Villas-Boas says the Argentine could be handed his first start in the Europa League against Tromso on Thursday, and believes his versatility could be a big asset.

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"His qualities are immense, they are not in doubt, but we just didn't have enough time with him [for Norwich] due to his late arrival in the transfer window and the international game he played," Villas-Boas told ESPN.

"It was finally good for us to have a few days training with the team and there is a possibility [of starting against Tromso]. He is selected for the game and a player of his quality will threaten to be in the team very soon.

"He has played in different positions up front from a young age. When he left River Plate, first he played behind the striker, then on the left, then as a right winger. The experience he has in three positions means he is creative in all three positions."

Villas-Boas also spoke highly of winger Andros Townsend, who has started the season in good form with first-choice Aaron Lennon on the treatment table.

"He came very motivated to do well after his loan," the Portuguese added. "He was jumping for an opportunity. That opportunity arose due to Lennon's injury and he took it. Sometimes a player on the fringe of the first XI doesn't do enough to break into the team, but he has taken the opportunity.

"He is very explosive in his game, through changes of pace and his dribbling ability.

"He is difficult to control with his change of pace. He has developed a lot in the last year, on loan at QPR and with us. Hopefully he can develop into a top player."