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Erik Lamela Returns to Roma...Sort Of

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He really has! But not really!

AS Roma Team Presentation Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

Erik Lamela. The guy who was once touted as being the closest thing to a replacement to Francesco Totti. The young Argentine who was one of the first big youth purchases of the American Revolution. There was so much hope for Coco, and he seemed to be on the right track after a great 2012-13 season with the Giallorossi. Goals were a plenty, mostly in thanks to Zdeněk Zeman being at the helm for the first portion of that season (time to relive those amazing moments below, try and choke back the tears)

The Departure

As many remember, Lamela went on to become one of the two sacrificial lambs of the summer of 2013. The sale of Marquinhos was one of 20+ million in profits and, as painful as it was to see him leave, the move made sense. He was replaced with Mehdi Benatia and the remainder of the fee covered part of the Kevin Strootman transfer. Meanwhile, the Lamela sale was a little harder to swallow. A player who was sold to us as the future of Roma. A player who was told he was going to remain and was marched out onto the pitch at Open Day ceremonies. His girlfriend went on to call it the “great farce”, as shortly thereafter he was sold to Tottenham Hotspur.

Slow Starts and Injuries

Lamela got off to a slow start at Spurs, having an injury plagued first season and finding it difficult to adjust to the style of the Premier League. The next two years saw better health and a knack for picking up some assists, but the goal scoring totals he achieved under Zeman at Roma have yet to be replicated (no shock here). After some great form at the end of last campaign, Spurs fans looked forward to seeing what Lamela could accomplish this season. However, he has been plagued with a hip injury and been out of the squad since late October.

Lamela’s epic Rabona goal

Return to Rome

In an odd story, Tottenham and Roma have agreed to send Lamela back to Rome to assist in healing his injury. Surprisingly, this is not the first example of this, as he sought help from Roma’s doctors for his nagging back injury back in 2013-14. The Roma doctors will be assisted by a member or two of the Spurs staff in an effort to expedite Lamela’s recovery:

"He has strong links in Rome. He went there now. They need to change a little bit the atmosphere. Not only he believes but we believe that its important to change a little bit in his mind. He asked to finish his recovery time there and the club, us, the staff, we believe its right. We hope that after that period he will available to start to train again with the team. He has a special link with a physio or doctor in Rome. Thank you to Roma to open the door to him and try to recover the player, along with some staff that is with Lamela, our staff are there with him. - Mauricio Pochettino, Manager, Spurs

Beats me why a player would be seeking help from Roma’s doctors after the injury crisis we have dealt with this season. Also, the situation seems a little odd considering Roma and Tottenham could very well be drawn against each other in the upcoming stages of the Europa League, where a healthy Lamela could definitely punish the Giallorossi. That being said, Lamela is still one of my favorite ex-Roma players and I truly wish him all the best and a speedy recovery. Here’s to hoping he doesn’t tear an ACL at Trigoria!