Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho was full of praise for Argentine duo Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela as goals from the pair ensured Spurs’ passage into the FA Cup fourth round.
Lo Celso opened the scoring in the second minute and Lamela doubled Spurs’ lead in the 15th minute as they beat Middlesbrough 2-1 in their third round replay.
Mourinho compared the pair to Argentinian Tottenham legends Osvaldo Ardiles and Ricardo Villa who played for Spurs in the late 70s and early 80s
“They played very well. I don’t think (Osvaldo) Ardiles and Villa would have been ashamed at all”Mourinho on Lo Celso and Lamela
Ardiles is considered to be one of the club’s finest imports while Villa is best remembered by the Tottenham faithful for his famous winner in the 1981 FA Cup final replay against Manchester City.
Lo Celso and Lamela played together for the first time from the start on Tuesday after making positive impacts off the bench against Liverpool at the weekend.
The move paid dividends for Mourinho with the pair delivering excellent performances and securing progression into the FA Cup which represents their best shot at a trophy this season.
Lo Celso was electric under the lights at White Hart Lane and seems to be finally settling in after his summer loan move from Real Betis.
Lamela made his first start since October as he returns from a hamstring injury and impressed Mourinho.
“Lamela was out for so long, he has been coming back step by step. Playing half an hour against Liverpool and 90 here. You could see his fitness is coming”Mourinho on Lamela’s return from injury
The upturn in form of Lo Celso and Lamela can soften the blow of the potential departure of Christian Eriksen who is reportedly closing in on a move to Inter Milan.