After struggling to shine in the star-studded squad of PSG, a dazzling display against Manchester United showed how well Lucas Moura has settled in at Spurs
Lucas Moura has always been considered as one of the hottest talents to come out of the Brazilian league over the past few years, but it had seemed that his career had stalled at Paris Saint Germain. However, a transfer to Tottenham Hotspur may well have been the best decision he has taken in his professional career.
São Paulo’s football academy has produced so many greats throughout history, so it was no surprise to see the Brazilian press hyping Lucas Moura following his strong showing in performances for the Paulista giants. It was natural that he consequently earned a Seleção call-up to attract the interest of top European clubs. However, a decision to join Paris Saint Germain in 2013 instead of Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United, was seen as extremely controversial.
Lucas never really fully convinced the fans during his time in France, despite trademark Champions League performances against the likes of Barcelona, Valencia, Shakhtar Donetsk and others throughout the years. The Brazilian was often criticized for his poor decision-making and lack of aggressiveness.
In the beginning, he was a good dribbler but lacked end product, something his former manager Laurent Blanc often referred to, when explaining why he was benched for Ezequiel Lavezzi. Eventually, Lucas would turn into a good goalscorer at the expense of losing his sparkling runs and technical quality in one-on-one situations.
After Lavezzi’s departure, PSG would purchase Angel Di Maria soon after and then Julian Draxler, meaning that Moura was again relegated to the bench. Eventually, the arrivals of Neymar Júnior and Kylian Mbappé surely signaled the end of Lucas’ PSG-spell.
After barely getting game-time in the opening months of last season, Lucas decided to officially part ways with PSG, as a transfer to Tottenham was seen as his last shot to prove himself in the European top-flight. But joining a strong team in arguably the best league in the world, and certainly the most marketable one, Moura had a great opportunity to show his quality in front of a worldwide audience. The gamble by Tottenham was seen as minimal, for merely $30 million.
Last season, Lucas Moura did not really give his best impression, but after having a full pre-season with the London-based team, and arguably being their best player, he transmitted his form from friendlies to official matches by scoring three goals in three Premier League games so far.
Against Fulham, the Brazilian scored his first league goal in England and had a strong overall performance, but against Manchester United, at Old Trafford, he arguably had the display of his life. Lucas played well throughout the whole game, and scored a nice first goal, but the second one – where he displayed an incredible burst of pace while retaining the ball close to his feet, to take down Chris Smalling before beating De Gea – was absolutely phenomenal and suggests that the 26-year-old still has what it takes to revive his career.
Lucas Moura is closer than ever to a Seleção return. All he needs to do is maintain the same level for the rest of the season, then his inclusion in the 2019 Copa América squad would be inevitable.