Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Erik Lamela could be in line to make his long awaited return to Mauricio Pochettino's first team on Saturday as his side take on West Bromwich Albion, with the Argentine manager insisting they may need someone of his ilk to break down the Baggies.
The 25-year-old has not featured for Spurs in over a year, with the creator's last appearance coming in the north Londoners' 2-1 away defeat to Liverpool in the EFL Cup last term.
A persistent hip injury has seen the attacker go through the toughest spell of his career, with many thinking whilst sidelined that he may never pull on a Lilywhites shirt again.
However, 13 months to the day following his last outing Lamela looks likely to take to the field again as Tottenham welcome West Brom to Wembley Stadium.
The player had returned to training last month, but boss Pochettino was wary of re-introducing his undoubtably talented midfielder back into the fold too early.
"We are waiting because now it is on him to get the right feeling to say: 'I am here to be available if you want, gaffer," the 45-year-old manager told the pre-match press conference, as quoted by The Guardian.
"That is now all that we are waiting for. He is training, doing well and now, after one year, it is about how he is feeling."
Against more defensively-minded opposition Spurs have struggled to fully implement their game plan, with both Swansea City and Burnley holding the Champions League side to draws at Wembley this campaign.
The inability to break down the committed defence of the opposition cost Tottenham vital points on those occasions. However, Pochettino is hoping having Lamela back within his squad may be able to prove the difference.
The scenes tomorrow when Lamela comes off the bench to score a 90th minute winner.— Ashley Watts (@AshWatts93) November 24, 2017
"We need to increase our tempo within the games, not players with more pace," the Argentine added.
"If we're playing against teams like Palace, Swansea or Burnley that are playing a lot deeper, you don't need pace, you need good individual quality one vs. one.
"[You need players] that can break one vs. one, like Lamela. You need good quality and capacity to drive, and an individual like Lamela can bring that quality to the team."