I can understand the reservations held by some fans regarding Tottenham’s imminent signing of PSG’s Lucas Moura.
There are three historical reasons for Spurs fans to worry about him joining our club:
- He’s a winger
- From Ligue 1
- Signed just before deadline day
Our last two attempts at signing players of this ilk (Clinton N’Jie in 2015 and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou in 2016) ended in failure, with both now plying their trades elsewhere after a combined 1 goal in 37 appearances for Spurs.
These two were raw talents, signed for the future in the hope that Mauricio Pochettino could work his magic and turn them into a French Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa. It didn’t happen.
And that’s where the similarities between these two and Lucas end.
Lucas is no raw, undiscovered talent. Despite being just 367 days older than 24-year-old N’Jie, he has almost three and a half times the amount of senior appearances for club and country.
With PSG he has won four Ligue 1 titles, three Coupe de France medals and nine other domestic honours across the Coupe de la Ligue and Trophée des Champions.
He has a silver Olympic medal with Brazil and, with Tottenham Legend Paulinho’s help, won them the 2013 Confederations Cup.
In January 2013 Lucas became oil-rich PSG’s most expensive ever signing when he moved from Sao Paolo, costing €45 million. He wears PSG’s number 7 shirt and has since gone on to score 45 goals in 228 appearances. He’s also notched a similar figure for assists in that time.
So why leave and come to Spurs? Simply put, his stock has all but diminished.
As with all expensive playthings, rich owners get bored. In recent windows PSG have spent hundreds of millions on attacking players. Neymar, Angel Di Maria, Cavani, Kylian Mbappe, Julian Draxler and Javier Pastore can all play in his position on the wing or just behind the striker.
At a national level, the emergence of Coutinho, Neymar and Roberto Firmino means Lucas has played just 14 minutes of football for Brazil since 2016 and was not even called up to their squad for the Brazilian World Cup in 2014.
Tottenham have been crying out for exactly this ‘Wilfriend Zaha-type’ player that can quickly dribble through defences since the departure of Gareth Bale in 2012.
Erik Lamela seems to be damaged goods, Moussa Sissoko is a literal human-donkey hybrid and our side is often found devoid of options against defensive sides.
From London to Paris, Daniel Levy can smell a bargain 200 miles off – the rumoured deal on offer is around half of what PSG paid for him five years ago. His wages would fit into Tottenham’s structure and the offer of big bonuses could encourage Lucas to get back to his best.
And it works both ways. Lucas has the chance to go from being a small fish in a big pond to a big fish in a smaller pond. He gets the chance to work with one of the most promising managers in the biggest league in Europe and, in Harry Kane, a striker that can finish off even the worst of crosses.
On paper it seems like a no-brainer. The reality may be different but at almost £10m less than Moussa Sissoko the risk is clearly worth it. Get it done, Daniel.
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