Carlos Vinicius – signed for a £2.7m loan fee with an option to buy for £40.83m next summer (BBC) – was brought in to finally be the back-up that Harry Kane and Jose Mourinho were desperate for.
The Brazilian striker, in most senses, has filled this void. He has allowed Kane to rest his legs and proved his worth with multiple impressive performances.
Three goals and three assists in the Europa League stages and, in his first FA Cup match, albeit against eight-tier Marine, he scored a first-half hat-trick (TransferMarkt).
However, despite this success, it has only translated into 24 minutes in the Premier League. Nine minutes against Fulham, three minutes against Leeds, and 12 minutes against West Brom (FotMob).
Tottenham, of late, have been stumbling after a good start to the season. When their two stars – Kane and Son-Heung Min – are struggling to impose themselves onto a game, Spurs struggle to find another avenue in which to find a goal.
To illustrate this, Tanguy Ndombele is the next top scorer in the Premier League, with three goals (Transfermarkt).
Therefore, Vinicius will rightly feel that Mourinho should hand him an opportunity to play more in Premier League matches.
But how would this work with the world-class Kane already in his position?
“He can even play with Harry Kane when his good period arrives,” Mourinho said after a 3-0 victory against LASK (Evening Standard).
Kane, this season, has developed a new side of his game where he drops into pockets to try and provide the team with a deep creative spark. With 11 assists to his name, the most in the League, this is clearly a tactic that is working.
So, could Kane permanently take over the creative duties and leave Vinicius to lead the line? It’s certainly an interesting thought.
Although his 6ft 3 frame makes him a good psychical presence, and his poaching abilities in the box make him a classic centre-forward, Vinicius has more to his game than that.
Similar to Kane in a sense, Vinicius is a typical modern forward. He is capable of navigating his big frame through tight pockets of space, absorbing the pressure of the defenders and using his agility to go past them, creating/forcing opportunities.
His three assists in the Europa League – all clever in their own right – showcased this.
So, Kane and Vinicius could work on this partnership in switching roles throughout the match to provide flexibility and confuse opposition defences.
Also, Vinicius and Kane both have a great aerial presence. Tottenham, albeit scoring from a few, have put in the least crosses off any team this season (Premier League).
Maybe this is by design, but Vinicius could make Spurs more dangerous in the air. This could be especially true if the Brazilian and Kane are both in the box at the same time.
So, the Kane and Vinicius partnership could be an option for Mourinho.
After all, you don’t know if you never try…
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