When Erik Lamela spent over a year away from football pitches with a hip issue, many thought his time at Tottenham was up.

Reports sending him to Inter, where he would have returned to Serie A, the league where he first made a name for himself at Roma, were rife.

However, Mauricio Pochettino never appeared to lose faith in the Argentine, and the 26-year-old is now enjoying his best start to a season, scoring six goals and picking up two assists in his first 12 appearances.

The Tottenham forward was asked about it after the PSV game by Sky Sport in Italy, who enquired whether anything had changed in his life, and if so, what was different.

Embed from Getty Images

He replied: “I’m happy for the period I’m going through. I feel well. I don’t think anything has changed. Now I’m just finding more consistency and that helps me. I appreciate each game. Playing football means a lot to me. 

“I’m happy when I play and I appreciate everything. In tough periods you always want to play. Now I am, and therefore I’m very happy.”

During his 388 days out, Lamela missed 57 Tottenham games, finally returning to a football pitch just under a year ago, on November 16th 2017.

You can understand why he’s so happy to be back.