Adrian Clarke says Tottenham Hotspur’s clinical attacking midfielder can offer more goal threat next season

Adrian Clarke looks at players who impressed in 2018/19 and can continue to go from strength to strength next season.

Lucas Moura
The Brazilian’s sensational hat-trick in the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League guarantees his place in Tottenham Hotspur folklore, but a strong first full season in the Premier League hints there is plenty more to come.
Scoring 10 goals in 25 starts, 11 of which came not in a striker role, the Spurs midfielder proved his worth to Mauricio Pochettino as a goal threat.
Quick, two-footed and efficient inside the box, Lucas should remain central to Spurs’ plans for 2019/20.

Pushing on
Pochettino played with two forwards more frequently during 2018/19 and if that policy continues it will be good news for Lucas.
While he can perform well as an attacking midfielder or winger, the player signed from Paris Saint-Germain is not an especially creative type.
Lucas did not register a single PL assist from 27 key passes this season.
He also made only one successful cross in the whole campaign.
Far better at applying the final touch, the Brazilian is definitely most useful when paired with a centre-forward.
He was devastating in that role when scoring a treble against Huddersfield Town in April.
Lucas was equally impressive, particularly on the counter, during Spurs’ fabulous 3-0 win at Old Trafford last August, a match in which he scored twice.
The 26-year-old has stiff competition with Son Heung-min and Fernando Llorente for the right to partner Harry Kane but will feel he has staked a strong claim to be his regular sidekick.
Making the transition from attacking midfielder to striker is not a simple process, and Lucas is learning on the job.
His positional awareness and runs are improving and during the next 12 months I expect plenty more development in those aspects of his game.
When you study how few shots Lucas takes compared with Kane and Son, his goal ratio looks even more impressive.
Statistically he is the most clinical attacker in Spurs’ squad and can score in a range of ways. The key to his progress will be getting into scoring positions more frequently.
Once that striker’s intuition comes more naturally to him, Lucas could become one of the more prolific goalscorers in the division.
The success of Mohamed Salah at Liverpool, a player who also switched position and shares many similar traits, will act as an inspiration.