Tottenham Hotspur head coach, Jose Mourinho, has implied that Lucas Moura has never felt as loved by a manager as he does right now.
The Special One has been coaching Moura since late November in North London, with the Brazilian being one of the first names on the team sheet since that time.
Many Spurs fans will remember that Moura found himself in and out of the starting eleven under Pochettino with the Argentine usually preferring to use him from the bench (transfermarkt).
Even after Lucas netted a dramatic second-half hat-trick that completed the famous come back against Ajax in the Champions League semi-final last season, he was benched for the final against Liverpool.
Moura has seven goals and three assists for far this season. He has also featured in every single match under Mourinho, starting all but two of them (transfermarkt).
Speaking to Brazilian TV channel Esporte Interativo (translated by Sport Witness), Mourinho said that Moura finally feels wanted and appreciated, a feeling that is reciprocated between player and coach.
He said: “I think Lucas’ call-ups is less of Lucas and more of the coaches he’s had so far. Because since Lucas came to Europe, where is the coach who actually put his head in for him and said: ‘You are important, you are very good, you are a priority, you play every game?’
“Lucas was always living a little bit, both in Paris and here too, in this situation of playing or not playing. Play two, don’t play one. It even came to the situation of doing what he did in the Champions League and not playing in the final.
“I think this is the first time that a fantastic, sensitive, emotional man has felt ‘this coach likes me, this coach wants me’. And I think it’s a little bit reciprocal.
“He’s in very good shape. My only fear is obviously that the gas runs out. Because a man is a man. Especially offensive players, who have tremendous wear and tear. And all of us coaches like to rotate, in the 60 or 70 minutes, switch for a fresh one. Here neither hot nor fresh, there is only one here and you always have to play. So my fear is just that.
“And with all due respect to Tite, the best thing he could do is not to call up Lucas so that in March he could refuel a little. But he’s doing a fantastic job that deserves all the best, I think he’s been having a fantastic three months. Not only in the quality of the game, but in the way he gives himself to the team.”
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