Pochettino needs to get the best out of Lamela at Spurs

This is what Erik Lamela looks like. Photo: PA

Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham in-tray is full to the brim, and one of his biggest tasks is to see whether he can finally get the best out of Erik Lamela.

Daniel Levy, in an uncharacteristic rush of blood to the head, clocked up several thousand air miles last summer as he jetted across the world spending the £83million he was about to receive for Gareth Bale's world-record transfer to Real Madrid.

Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Vlad Chiriches, Christian Eriksen, Nacer Chadli and Etienne Capoue all joined for a combined total of around £80million.

But it was club-record signing Lamela who excited Spurs fans the most.

The £30million midfielder had been so good over the previous two seasons at Roma that Francesco Totti had hailed Lamela as the heir to his throne.

In Lamela's final year at Roma he scored 15 goals in total. Seven of those came in a hot streak of six matches. He chipped in with several assists too and his pace, power and trickery endeared him to the Roma fans.

One even had a tattoo of Lamela's signature on his arm.

It was no surprise, therefore, that the sale of Lamela to Tottenham for £30million last summer was met with widespread anger among the Giallorossi faithful.

Mauricio Pochettino needs a plan. Credit: PA

The Eternal City's loss was Tottenham's gain. A quick Argentinian midfielder with a bag full of tricks and an eye for goal? The comparisons with Ossie Ardiles were inevitable.

They soon dried up though after it became clear that Lamela was struggling to settle in at Spurs.

The physical nature of the Premier League did not sit well with the slight, gangly former River Plate man.

Nine games went by without even a sniff of a goal. Gylfi Sigurdsson, Andros Townsend, Nacer Chadli and Lewis Holtby were all seemingly ahead of Lamela in the pecking order.

Lamela's family moved to London at the end of October to help ease his trouble adapting to life in England, and for a while he seemed more settled.

On November 7 Tottenham fans rose to their feet and chanted Lamela's name after he won a match-winning penalty and scored his first goal for the club.

Lamela has great potential. Credit: PA

But that was against Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol.

Lamela did not score again. In fact he only made seven more appearances, his season curtailed by injury.

The midfielder suffered a thigh injury and then hurt his back trying to rush his recovery.

There is a feeling at Tottenham that Lamela must show his worth this season or he will be sold.

Pochettino built his reputation on his man-management skills. When he arrived at St Mary's Stadium, Adam Lallana looked out of his depth in the top flight. Now he is a decent bet to start England's World Cup opener against Italy in Manaus on June 14.

The Argentinian must work his magic with Lamela too, as well as the other stars who flopped for Spurs last year.

In theory, Pochettino will help Lamela overcome the language barrier and he will also provide a sympathetic ear to his compatriot if he continues to struggle to adapt to English life.

If Pochettino fails to do that both he and Lamela could well be out of the door next summer.