If you want a little ray of good news in the midst of the North London Derby crap-storm, here it is! Erik Lamela has officially returned to the football pitch. Spurs’ Argentine winger played his first competitive football in a year today after coming back from surgeries on both hips, although it came with Tottenham’s U23 development squad in a 3-2 Premier League 2 loss to Chelsea.
The match happened at the same time as the North London Derby, so of course nobody who wasn’t there got to watch it and details are scarce. However, a match report from a Chelsea blog noted that Lamela started the match and went 60 minutes before being subbed off for Joe Pritchard, and highlighted one play in particular that should pique Spurs fans’ interest.
A wide-open first half continued to swing from end to end; Edwards curled a free kick inches wide before Cumming got fingertips to a Lamela scorcher that appeared destined for the top corner, but Chelsea were keenly involved top and Hudson-Odoi, who had penned his first professional contract twenty-four hours earlier, was close with a curling effort of his own.
It’s going to take a while before we see the Erik Lamela that we remember from the beginning part of last season, but let’s not minimize it: this was a very important step for Erik as he works his way back to the first team, and it’s great to see him out on a football pitch once more, and not just in training.