Pochettino: 'Unbelievable' Lamela is important to Tottenham

The 22-year-old struck twice against Toronto to give his manager a first win in charge of the north Londoners, while the new Spurs boss also praised the acquisition of Ben Davies
Maurico Pochettino has hailed Erik Lamela after the Tottenham club-record signing netted twice in a 3-2 friendly victory over Toronto.

A first-half double from the former Roma man helped Spurs on their way before Andros Townsend struck a thunderous late effort to end a spirited comeback by the MLS side.

Afterwards Pochettino was quick to hail his compatriot, who endured a difficult maiden campaign in England, and is backing the 22-year-old to play a leading role.

“We expect a lot from him, he’s an unbelievable player,” said the ex-Southampton boss.

“He needs to show us that he deserves to play, but at the moment we are happy with his performance.”

Lamela made just three Premier League starts last season, hampered by a series of injury problems, but is back to full fitness and, after his brace, is keen to keep progressing.

“It’s something I would like [to carry my pre-season form into the upcoming campaign], but I have to continue to work,” said the Argentine attacker. “As the season progresses I will continue to get better.

“I felt like I was able to play a good 45 minutes. Overall I think the team did really well and I’m happy with the performance today.

“I had an unfortunate injury last season that kept me out of play for quite some time. In the same way, it’s helped me emotionally and morally to get better and work harder towards this season.”

The north London club announced the double signing of Michel Vorm and Ben Davies from Swansea City shortly before kick-off, much to the delight of Pochettino, with the Welsh full-back making his debut.

“The season is very long and we need to stay deep at every position,” added the new Spurs manager.

“Ben Davies is important for us because he’s good competition for Danny Rose on the left side. He’s a young player, but he has good experience in the Premier League.”