Harry Kane heaped praise on Tottenham team-mate Erik Lamela after the 4-1 Premier League thrashing of Manchester City.
Lamela’s form had been under scrutiny, with many Spurs fans underwhelmed by the Argentina winger’s displays, but he was vital to Saturday’s result.
The 23-year-old, who joined from Roma in August 2013, scored the hosts’ fourth goal at White Hart Lane and had a hand in two others – one of which was netted by Kane to end the England striker’s goal drought.
“I’m very pleased for him,” Kane said in quotes reported by the Hackney Gazette.
“He’s taken some criticism over the last year or so but since he’s come in he’s shown, especially this season, what a player he can be.
“He’s done very well, he worked hard for the team [against City] up and down the pitch and I’m delighted for him to get his goal – but everyone was top notch.
“We had the higher press, we were relentless in our running and that’s what we’ve been doing to teams this season. We’ve got a very young, fit squad and I feel that’s going to be what we try to do throughout the course of the whole season.
“He [Lamela] is a top lad, he’s a very hard worker on the training field. He’s never let it [the criticism] affect him, he’s carried on practising, working hard on his own after training and stuff. He deserves what he gets. Football’s a funny game and you’ve just got to work hard and keep trying to improve and you’ll get your rewards.
“He probably knows he’s playing well and that’s what it’s like. You’re looking forward to your next game, you want to be out there playing.
“Hopefully he can keep building confidence and keep getting better and better. That’s what we’re trying to do as a team – everyone trying to improve, game in game out, getting some more experience and keep knocking on the door and see where we end up.”
Tottenham finished the weekend in fifth, four points adrift of leaders Manchester United, with City having been knocked off top spot following a second consecutive loss.