Mauricio Pochettino has cited this season as a make-or-break one for Erik Lamela, who is yet to impress.
Lamela has failed to live up to his price tag of £25.7 million since joining from Roma in 2013, scoring just two domestic goals.
The Argentine was close to leaving the club during the transfer window and now Pochettino says the pressure is on Lamela to prove himself.
“We believe we can develop his game and I think we need to be patient with him,” Pochettino said of Lamela, who provided the assist for Ryan Mason’s match-winning goal against Sunderland last week.
“It’s true, now is the third season here, but we believe in him and we want to give the opportunity to show his value. We have a lot of games to play, for competition, we need a good player in all positions. I think with the squad we have, we have a very good balance.
“I think this is a key season for him. After two seasons at Tottenham, now is the moment for him. Not to put pressure, but it’s true. It’s a key moment for him to develop and to move on his game. It’s important.”