Lamela praises 'good guy' Gazzaniga following starting role
PUBLISHED: 12:04 03 October 2018
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Now Spurs captain Hugo Lloris is fit again, Paulo Gazzaniga will drop out of the starting XI
Erik Lamela has hailed Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga ahead of what is likely to be a return to the bench for when Barcelona visit Wembley Stadium in Group B of the Champions League this evening.
The Argentinean stopper earned his shot in the starting XI when Michel Vorm picked up a knee injury in the build-up to the Premier League match at Brighton & Hove Albion on September 22.
After starring in the 2-1 victory against the Seagulls, Gazzaniga then helped Spurs get past Watford on penalties at Stadium MK in the third round of the League Cup.
He also featured in the 2-0 win at Huddersfield Town last weekend, but will return to the role of deputy now captain Hugo Lloris is fit again after a thigh problem.
Speaking recently, Lamela said: “I am really happy for Paulo because he trains always really good and he deserves this transformation after the injury to Michel and Hugo too.
“I am happy for Paulo because he is doing very well at the moment and we are very good friends.”
When quizzed on Gazzaniga’s personality, Lamela talked up the kind nature of the former Southampton goalkeeper.
He also confirmed they were close friends, although given they are both Argentinean it is no surprise.
Lamela added: “Paulo is a really good guy, he trains very good and honestly we are very good friends because he is a nice guy.”
Spurs will be back in London tonight after playing their last home fixture at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes.
It is over 50 miles away from the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, but Lamela enjoyed the experience of playing at MK Dons’ home and was surprised by the quality of the venue given it is used by a club plying their trade in League Two.
The Spurs attacker said: “It was good playing there. The stadium was amazing and I really like it. I was surprised because they are League Two, but it is amazing.”
After being an unused substitute during the 2-0 win at Huddersfield on Saturday, the 26-year-old is expected to start this evening’s 8pm kick-off against compatriot Lionel Messi – the Barcelona captain.
Injury disrupted Lamela’s start to the campaign, but since returning he has scored in games with Liverpool, Brighton and Watford.
Yet Tottenham’s form is key insists the one-time River Plate youngster, who will no doubt relish the big stage against the La Liga champions.
He said: “I am happy and at the moment I am enjoying my presence, but for me always the most important is the team.
“We were in a bad period, but now we are winning again and this is the most important thing for me.”