Jose Mourinho has praised Carlos Vinicius for the attitude he has shown since arriving at Tottenham in the summer.
Vinicius has found opportunities hard to come by in the Premier League, with most of his minutes coming in the Europa League and domestic cup competitions.
However, with Harry Kane out injured, the Brazilian did get 45 minutes under his belt against Brighton on Sunday and played all 90 minutes of Tottenham’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Thursday.
Mourinho admitted after the game that the 25-year-old found it difficult against an experienced Blues backline.
The Spurs boss has now praised the impact that Vinicius has had on the squad and has said that the striker is adapting well to English football.
The Portuguese coach told Football.London: “His Bringlish – you know what is ‘Bringlish’? Brazilian English – is improving a little bit. He’s such a nice guy that he doesn’t need more than Bringlish to communicate with the other guys because he’s popular in the group.
“I believe he’s adapting. Of course, to be the top scorer in Portuguese football brings you to England and then it’s not the same. It’s not as easy.
“I also believe it’s not easy and you have to be a special group guy in a club where you are a No.9 and the other No.9 is Harry Kane. You know that you have immediately a big disadvantage.
“So you need to be a special guy and a group guy, which is what he is. He’s playing when we want him to play and he’s always giving his best.
“Of course the Europa League was easier, not just because of the power of the teams we played in the group phase but also it’s a different style of play, probably more similar to the Portuguese league, but he’s adapting.
“He understands a bit more the physicality, the intensity, the need to bring himself to a different level of football. Of course, he’s not Harry Kane, their qualities are very different.
“We cannot expect Carlos to interact with Sonny with the same tactical principles that Harry does, but he’s a good player, a good guy. We’re very happy to have him. He’s been useful and he will be even more useful for us in the second half of the season.”
When asked if Vinicius’ adaptation to a new style of play and a new culture has been impacted by the COVID restrictions, the Spurs boss admitted that lockdown has been difficult for all of his players to do deal with.
“I have to say yes”, Mourinho said. “Of course, it’s not easy for anyone. Anyone. Players are guys between 20 and 35 years old.
“Yes, people can say you’re privileged. OK. Yes, you do what you love. OK. Yes, you have great salaries. OK. Yes, when you go home you have to stay there but you have an amazing home. OK, but they are always guys between 20 and 35 years old, and the world population, between 20 and 35 years old, is suffering.
“They’re in the age where they’re social animals. They have friends, they want to visit families. They live in different countries. Probably their families cannot travel, they cannot visit them.
“I am 58 and I miss my city. I miss my mother. I miss my friends, but I’m 58, I’m the boss. I try to keep stability, but this affects everybody and football players are not different.
“Of course some react in different ways than others. I believe in all the clubs we’re alert to this. In all the clubs we get advice, some people who can help us in relation to the emotional and psychological side to this because it’s not easy for everyone.
“I don’t want to go further and speak about playing with empty stadiums because this is, of course, secondary, but the day by day life I believe is very difficult for everybody.”
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Vinicius has shown enough glimpses of quality in the few opportunities that have come his way to suggest that he could be a very useful option for us in the second half of the season, particularly since we are still involved in all four competitions. However, whether he will do enough to convince the club to take up the option to buy him permanently remains to be seen.
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