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Total Football Scout - Erik Lamela

After a request on the Total Football forum, Erik Lamela is next on my list. The young Argentine has earned rave reviews and was courted by Europes elite. The former River Plate attacker is playing his trade in Serie A with Luis Enrique's Roma and is set to shine.

NAME: ERIK LAMELA

POSITION: ATTACKING MIDFIELD

AGE: 19

CLUB: AS ROMA

SQUAD NUMBER: 8

NATIONALITY: ARGENTINA

HEIGHT: 6’ 1”

WEIGHT: 73 KG

MARKET VALUE: £11,500,000

HE’S A BIT LIKE: JAVIER PASTORE

Growing up in the famed River Plate academy, Erik Lamela remained their biggest prospect. At the age of 12, Barcelona approached Lamela’s family offering them £100,000 a year to move Lamela to Spain and eventually play for the Blaugrana. However River Plate’s president, Jose Maria Aguilar, countered their offer with a generous offer of his own. He eventually persuaded Lamela’s parents to stay in Argentina to continue his development at River.

The 19 year old took his first steps in the senior team in 2009 against Tigre for the 2009 Clausura tournament. His first goal came in December 2010, against Colon for the Apertura tournament. The Argentine bagged his second goal in the final game of the competition against Lanus.

Despite his inexperience, AC Milan were rumoured to have tested River Plate’s resolve with a £10 million bid but they indicated he was worth more around the £25 million mark.

Lamela was a regular starter throughout the 2010/2011 Argentine Primera Divison making 34 appearances; scoring 4 goals. He helped his side to a 6th place finish meaning they would qualify for the 2011 Copa Sudamericana however due to Argentina’s relegation format, River lost a play-off against Belgrano and were relegated.

A host of clubs were alerted of his situation but it was Roma who won the race for his signature with the Giallorossi with a £12.5 million bid which could rise to around £17 million.

Lamela has earned comparisons to Lionel Messi but in fact they are different players all together. Messi uses his dribbling speed more than skill while it is the opposite way for Lamela. Although they are both players with outstanding technique, Lamela is more like PSG’s Javier Pastore or Real Madrid’s Kaka.

The youngster shows brilliant maturity for his age and can be deployed in a number of positions. Erik Lamela is truly one of the world’s best young players.

By Marcus Banks

Click on any of the names below to see our other Total Football Scout features:

Luc Castaignos

Ryo Miyaichi

Marc Andre ter Stegen

Gerard Deulofeu

Georginio Wijnaldum

Alexandre Lacazette

Neymar

Bojan Krkic

Ross Barkley

Daniel Sturridge

Phil Jones

Raheem Sterling

Julian Draxler

Oriel Romeu

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain


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