Whilst much of the deadline day focus at Tottenham Hotspur was on their 2-0 victory over Manchester United, the club worked hard to secure the signing of Lucas Moura and with the Brazilian unveiled to the fans at half-time at Wembley, he will bring both talent and depth to the club.
The 25-year-old joined for a fee of around £24.5 million on Wednesday after a dismal season with Paris Saint-Germain.
His situation in the French capital gives somewhat of a mixed impression of the former Sao Paulo star; he has made just five substitute appearances in the league this term with that mostly due to the arrivals of both Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
In 2016/17 he actually contributed 12 goals and five assists in 37 Ligue 1 appearances, this was just last season and he proved he could perform at a high level, although PSG were ultimately unsuccessful in their domestic campaign.
There is no shame in losing your place to Neymar and Mbappe; the pair are two of the most talented footballers in the world. Lucas’ ability is clearly reflected in the significantly high fee the North London club have been forced to pay.
Now obviously, in the scale of the current market it may appear cheap but for a club that is going to have to vastly increase their wage bill in the summer in addition to funding an increasingly expensive move to a new stadium, these are exactly the sort of deals that could keep the team from falling apart in the way Arsenal seemed to after leaving Highbury.
Mauricio Pochettino has a fantastic record in getting the very best out of his players, even with the most lost of causes. Moussa Sissoko arrived at White Hart Lane in the summer of 2016 with no input from the Argentine, he was signed on the whim of chairman, Daniel Levy, and for a long part of the season the Frenchman couldn’t break into the team.
His arrival became a source of fun amongst supporters and it was expected he would leave sooner rather than later, now if we fast forward one season to February 2018, the former Toulouse midfielder is one of the leading appearance makers for Spurs this term.
Of course this is partly down to the respective injury layoffs of both Mousa Dembele and Victor Wanyama, however how Pochettino has managed to refine Sissoko’s game and make him an asset has been a true testament to his coaching ability.
Moura doesn’t arrive at Wembley with a reputation as low as Sissoko’s, it’s clear to see there is a talented winger there, some of his best PSG performances have come on the biggest stage. Early on in his time in Paris he tore Barcelona apart in the Champions League.
Pochettino has lacked some incisiveness on the right flank since Kyle Walker’s departure, Kieran Trippier has filled in excellently but attacking moves have tended to come more from the centre.
Sissoko was utilised on the right on numerous occasions last season, however Lucas will be put straight in on that side.
He is capable of beating a defender and supplying crosses into the penalty area, in one sense he can be used as a very traditional winger, however the Brazilian is also incredibly skilful.
Given his natural talent he immediately improves the quality of Spurs’ squad, he also adds depth but it’s the potential for the former Espanyol coach to really get the best out of him that is the most exciting aspect of this transfer.
When he left Sao Paulo for PSG, Lucas was seen as one of the next great stars of the global game, he had such potential and Manchester United were also interested at that time, even coming as close as organising a medical for him whilst he was competing in the London 2012 Olympics.
Tottenham is in a unique sort of bubble at the present time in the sense they are enjoying all the fruits of Champions League qualification and good results on the pitch, however they don’t yet have the pressure to win trophies that seems to land with Chelsea, Manchester United and other elite clubs.
Pochettino can work with a sense of freedom and there isn’t pressure on Lucas Moura to come in and hit the ground running immediately, obviously it will be expected of him, but there will be a period of time given for him to settle.
How long this period will last for Spurs is difficult to gauge, especially with Levy set to vastly increase the salaries of several of his star players in the summer, he may in turn expect an immediate return in the form of trophies.
For the current campaign, a Premier League title challenge is all but impossible with Manchester City running away with the league, however there is a significant chance Spurs could enjoy success in Europe and Lucas Moura not being cup-tied only boosts that endeavour.
Pochettino will be grateful of the addition and it seems certain that if there is a coach to help Lucas reach his full potential then it is the Argentine, he ticks all the boxes.
Written by Chris Winterburn
Follow Chris on Twitter @cmwinterburn
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