Football

Tottenham signing is 'immense', says Villas-Boas

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Tottenham manager Andre-Villas Boas has labelled Argentine starlet Erik Lamela as 'immense' ahead of Thursday's Europa League clash against Norwegian outfit Tromso.

21-year-old Lamela, who has already won three caps for his country, arrived at White Hart Lane from Serie A Giants Roma during the summer in a deal worth a reported club-record £30 million.

Since his transfer, the former River Plate prodigy is yet to start a game but has made two brief cameos from the substitutes bench in Spurs' last two Premier League outings against fierce local rivals Arsenal and Chris Hughton's Norwich City. 

However, despite the midfielder having experienced somewhat of a muted start to his top-flight career, Villas-Boas, who has been in charge of Spurs since replacing Harry Redknapp in July 2012, has hailed Lamela's obvious quality and hinted that he could be set for a first-team place very soon.

"His qualities are immense, they are not in doubt, but we just didn't have enough time with him (for Sunday) due to his late arrival in the transfer window and the international game he played," Villas-Boas was quoted by ESPN.

"It was finally good for us to have a few days training with the team and there is a possibility (he could start against Tromso). He is selected for the game and a player of his quality will threaten to be in the team very soon.

"He has played in different positions up front from a young age. When he left River Plate, first he played behind the striker, then on the left, then as a right winger. The experience he has in three positions means he is creative in all three positions," he added.

Tottenham, who will also face troubled Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala and Sheriff Tiraspol in Group K, have enjoyed a mostly positive start to the new domestic campaign and currently sit in third place after collecting nine points from their opening four top-flight fixtures.

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