It looks as though Tottenham Hotspur’s Erik Lamela will be extending his stay in north London. The Independent is reporting that Spurs are ready to trigger a clause in Lamela’s contract that would add an additional year to his existing deal, keeping him a Spurs player through the 2019-2020 season.
ESPN’s Dan Kilpatrick had previously reported that Lamela is still on his original £65k/week contract from when he signed from Roma five years ago, and that contract had a couple of extension clauses built in. It was designed as a 4+2+1 contract, and Spurs had already triggered the two year extension. He would be heading into the final year of his contract next season without a new deal or an extension. The other option would have been to offer Lamela an entirely new and improved contract, which is something that Spurs are reportedly keen to do with players such as Son Heung-Min, Harry Kane, Dele Alli, and a few others this summer.
This feels a bit like kicking the can down the road — Lamela has only recently come back from an injury that kept him sidelined for an entire season. He’s been a useful addition to Spurs’ midfield — Understat has Lamela at .53 xG+xA/90 in mostly substitution minutes, which means since his return he’s been averaging a goal or assist every other match. That’s pretty good, even if both of his goals this season have come in the FA Cup. He also has six total assists in all competitions.
However, triggering the extension feels like Spurs hedging their bets a little. There’s a sense that Lamela hasn’t been as good as what he maybe could (or should) have been, so this would give him another season to re-establish himself with a full off-season. If he plateaus or dips again, then it might be a case where Spurs seek to move him on next summer.
Either way, I love watching Erik play and am enjoying his role as a high pressing, two-footed-tackling midfield enforcer. If the rumor is true, I welcome it because it means that we get at least one more year of Murder Machine in the Tottenham lineup.