Andre Villas-Boas has confessed that Erik Lamela, Tottenham's £30million record signing, is struggling to make his mark on English football.

The Tottenham manager indicated that Lamela, who arrived at White Hart Lane from Roma in the summer, is still adapting to his new surroundings and currently "not producing half of what he should."

"We have been speaking a lot with him and I think getting him acquainted to the Premier League is important because he doesn't know the language," Villas-Boas was quoted as saying by ESPN.

"[Roberto] Soldado had some knowledge of the language before he arrived here, so it was a little bit easier for him, but it is not so easy for Erik. We have given him massive, massive help and his family arrived this week."

The 21-year-old Argentinian has had to accept limited playing time and has fallen down Villas-Boas's pecking order behind players like Andros Townsend, Christian Eriksen and Gylfi Sigurdsson.

Lamela has not started a Premier League game this campaign but has come on as a substitute on four occasions. Villas-Boas insisted he will have to work hard to get into the team.

"He knows he isn't producing half of what he can produce, but he understands the situation now is that he has to compete for his place.

"We are patient with him as we appreciate he is a player of huge potential and I will continue to pick the players that are best for the team."

The youngster previously admitted he is under pressure to perform as he aims to be in Argentina's World Cup squad next summer.

"I'm playing in England and I have to adapt quickly," he said. "English football is more physical and not as tactical as the Italian game, and I talk to my team-mates about that."

Lamela might get a chance to make an impression tonight as Tottenham host Hull City in the Capital One Cup.

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