Tottenham Hotspur have confirmed that Erik Lamela will miss the rest of the season – sparking fears the winger has played his last game for the club.
Lamela, who cost Tottenham a club record £30million from Roma in 2013, has been out since November and Spurs have revealed the Argentine will now undergo surgery on a hip injury in Spain on Saturday.
The 25-year-old’s long-term future at White Hart Lane was already in doubt after he suffered a run of bad luck that saw his injury coincide with his brother suffering a serious injury in a freak accident and his pet dog Simba dying.
Lamela spent time in his native Argentina to be with his brother and was then allowed to undergo part of his rehabilitation in Rome, with Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino admitting the player needed a change of scene.
Spurs hoped Lamela’s recovery would improve once he returned to England, but the Argentina international has suffered yet another setback.
Lamela has been linked with a return to Roma, while Inter and AC Milan, and River Plate, where he started his career, have shown an interest.
With his contract due to expire in 2019, Tottenham are likely to listen to offers for Lamela in the summer particularly as Pochettino is interested in signing attacking midfielders Wilfried Zaha and Ross Barkley.
A Tottenham statement on Lamela said: “Erik Lamela is to undergo surgery on his hip on Saturday. This will result in Erik returning to action next season.
“The Argentina international has undergone a comprehensive rehabilitation process following the injury in November.
“The player has achieved a good level of function, however he has been unable to reach the stage required to make a full return to training. Therefore, following ongoing extensive consultation with specialists, surgery has been agreed by all as the best course of action.”