Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur started their UEFA Europa League campaign with a win against LASK. They might not be one of Europe’s giants, but LASK have a sting in their tail and this was a good display from Spurs, make no mistake about it.

The Spurs have netted fifteen goals in four Europa League games now, who controlled the tempo from the start and showed excellent composure to beat the press en route to their first shutout of the season.

Jose Mourinho made eight changes to the side, which blew the opportunity against West Ham United. The Spurs always looked comfortable here despite a few nervy moments, as they claimed only their first clean sheet in 11 competitive outings.

Lucas Moura opened the scoring in the first half following a wonderful pass from debutant Carlos Vinicius, and Tottenham’s lead was quickly doubled when a Gareth Bale cross was turned into the net by the unfortunate Andres Andrade.

Finally, the third goal was added by the in-form Son Heung Min with less than ten minutes remaining.

The center of attraction was Gareth Bale, who made his first start since switching Real Madrid’s famous white for Tottenham’s once again. He’s still some way off full fitness, but he worked hard and produced some calculated crosses, including the one that forced Andrade to put through his own net.

But one player’s performance caught the attention of the world and he was the Brazilian Carlos Vinicius.

Born in Bom Jesus das Selvas, Maranhao, Carlos Vinicius started his football career at the youth ranks of Goias in 2009, at the age of 14, as a central defender.

In 2011 he moved to Santos but was initially loaned to Desportivo Brasil before returning to the club. Released in 2014, he subsequently joined Palmeiras and finished his formation with the club in the following year.

Carlos Vinicius moved to Caldense for the 2016 season but spent the first year without playing. He made his senior debut on March 19, 2017, starting in a 2–0 away loss against Uberlandia for the Campeonato Mineiro. At the club, he was mainly used as a defensive midfielder.

In May 2017, Carlos Vinicius joined Gremio Anapolis for the second division of the Campeonato Goiano. For the side, he only contributed with two appearances as a substitute, being utilized as an attacking midfielder, but was moved to the forward position for a friendly and scored two goals in that match; he then impressed some Portuguese scouts in the match, which prompted to a move to the country.

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A few months later, Carlos Vinicius was presented at Portuguese LigaPro side Real, after agreeing to a one-year loan deal.

He made his debut late in the month, in a 2017–18 Taca da Liga 1–0 win over Belenenses, scoring the only goal.

Carlos Vinicius made his league debut on August 6, 2017, scoring a hat-trick in a 4–1 home routing of Leixoes.

He ended the season with 20 goals in 39 matches.

Carlos Vinicius agreed to a deal with Napoli for around €4 million, effective as of July 1.

In July, he was included in the team’s pre-season and scored in a friendly against Carpi late in the month.

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After appearing in the pre-season with the club, Carlos Vinicius returned to Portugal after being loaned to Primeira Liga side Rio Ave for one season.

He made his top tier debut in September, playing the last 20 minutes in a 2–1 home defeat of Portimonense.

Carlos Vinicius scored his first goal in the main category of Portuguese football on September 22, 2018, in a 3–1 away success over Santa Clara; in that match, he also scored an own goal.

Seven days later, he scored a brace in a 2–1 home win against Boavista.

Carlos Vinicius ended his spell at Rio Ave with 14 goals in 20 matches.

In 2019, Carlos Vinicius joined Monaco on a six-month loan deal. He made his debut for the club three days later, replacing Radamel Falcao late into a 2–1 home win against Toulouse FC.

Carlos Vinicius scored his first goal in France in March 2019, netting a last-minute winner in a 1–0 away defeat of Lille.

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Mainly used as a backup to Falcao, he helped the club avoid relegation, scoring two goals in 16 matches.

In July 2019, Carlos Vinicius signed a five-year contract with Portuguese champions Benfica on a transfer fee of €17 million and a release clause of €100 million.

He scored a goal on his debut for the club, sealing a 5–0 win over Pacos de Ferreira on 10 August.

In November 2019, Carlos Vinicius scored a hat-trick in a 4–0 home routing of Maritimo, taking his tally up to 12 goals in 16 matches overall during the season.

It was a breakthrough season for Vinicius and which impressed the Spurs very much.

On October 2, 2020, Tottenham Hotspur announced the signing of Carlos Vinicius on a season-long loan from Benfica for a €3 million fee.

He was signed as the back-up for their injury-prone striker Harry Kane.

The fans of Spurs have been waiting for a long time for their squad to feature a genuine backup for Kane and judging by the game against LASK, it looks like they might’ve found one in Carlos Vinicius.

At the start, he was a bit scratchy and missed a relatively easy chance early in the first half, but once he settled down, his movement and team-play were fabulous. Vinicius marked his debut with two assists, and both of them were impressive.

The first half saw the player pick up Lucas Moura with a pass that Kane himself would’ve been proud of, with his fellow Brazilian finishing off the chance with ease. In the second half, the striker was able to get his head to a ball from Matt Doherty to head into the path of Son Heung Min, who unsurprisingly found the back of the net.

It was a highly impressive debut for Vinicius, who exhibited no nerves at all.

“Carlos did very well today,” said Lucas Moura. “He did two assists and made a good game. He’s the kind of player we missed in this squad, another number nine. Another Brazilian as well is good for me,” Moura added.

The boss Mourinho was impressed with the 25-year-old forward as he stated, “He played well but he can do better. Not easy to not speak English so the adaptation to the group isn’t an easy situation. Different football, different way to play, how we want to press. It’s about learning. But with these circumstances, first match he did well. Only thing that was missing was one goal. Showed he’s more than that and that he can play with Harry Kane as well.”


A good start to the Spurs journey for Carlos Vinicius.

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