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Erik Lamela called up by Argentina as replacement for Lionel Messi

The Tottenham player will play in Wednesday's World Cup final rematch.

Julian Finney

Erik Lamela is making his return to international football. The Tottenham Hotspur player has been called up to the Argentina team for the friendly against Germany on Wednesday as a replacement for the injured Lionel Messi.

Messi was ruled out of the World Cup final rematch when he picked up an adductor strain on Sunday, and that opened the door for Lamela to get a look. Lamela hasn't played for Argentina since November of last year, with his injuries and poor form at Spurs keeping him out of serious consideration for the albiceleste.

Argentina have a new manager now, swapping Alejandro Sabella out for Gerardo Martino, but, more importantly, Lamela is fit and playing again for Tottenham. He hasn't nabbed a goal for Spurs yet this season, but he has started three matches and came off the bench in the other, notching three assists and a Man of the Match honor in the process.

There was a time when Lamela was hailed as Argentina's next great player and, at 22 years old, he can still be that. Now he's back in the team and has a chance to make an impression on Martino.

Argentina only have one match this transfer window so Lamela won't be strained too much. He will play on Wednesday and be done with international duty the following day, giving him some time to rest before the Spurs campaign restarts.