It’s now three months since Jose Mourinho took charge of Tottenham for the very first time.
Parting with Mauricio Pochettino after a nightmare run of form in 2019, the experienced Portuguese boss was named as his successor less than 12 hours later.
Mourinho’s first game came at the London Stadium three days later and he inspired the team to a much-needed 3-2 win to help lift the their dwindling spirits after some poor results.
One of the 57-year-old’s first decisions for the match in east London was to restore Lucas Moura to the starting XI.
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In and out of the team at the start of the season under Pochettino, the Brazilian had actually been named on the bench in four of their five games prior to the win over the Hammers.
Playing a total of just 10 minutes in their league fixtures against Liverpool and Sheffield United, Lucas wasn’t even called upon for the two Champions League wins over Red Star Belgrade.
He cut a forlorn figure on the substitutes’ bench at times during the first few months of the season but that has all changed now since Mourinho took on the job.
The head coach is a big fan of the player and he initially tried to sign him during his time as Real Madrid boss when Lucas was playing in his homeland for Sao Paulo.
While that move never came off as the 27-year-old ended up moving to Paris Saint-Germain in 2013, he now has his man and he’s making full use of him.
In fact, no Tottenham player has appeared more under Mourinho than Lucas so far.
The attacker has appeared in all 22 games under the new boss, with only two of those (Bournemouth and Norwich City) coming from the bench.
Toby Alderweireld and Dele Alli are just behind their teammate with a total of 21 appearances, while Serge Aurier, despite his erratic displays, has played in 20.
Not always guaranteed of a start under Pochettino at the start of the season, Lucas is now getting what he always wanted at the club and that’s regular football from the first whistle.
While some may point to Harry Kane and Son Heung-min’s injuries as the reason why he is playing so often, it is worth noting that he did start in nine of 11 games for the Lilywhites before the former limped off with a hamstring injury at Southampton on New Year’s Day and that is when they had all of their attacking options.
Lucas has started in every game since the England captain’s injury and that doesn’t look like changing due to the limited numbers in attack at present.
Speaking after last Wednesday’s Champions League defeat against RB Leipzig, Mourinho outlined what it’s like for a number of his team at present because the lack of choice means that he cannot shake things up.
“Moura was absolutely dead, Bergwijn was absolutely dead, Lo Celso was absolutely dead,” he said.
“We are really in trouble. If it was just this game I’d say no problem but we have FA Cup and Premier League games.
“I know Lamela could only give us 20 minutes and I knew Ndombele could not play for 90 minutes. I tried to manage the pieces I had.
“Don’t tell me Lamela and Ndombele could have started the game, they couldn’t have started the game.”
As tired as Lucas and some of his teammates may be at present as they are constantly playing, he certainly won’t be complaining as he is getting a sustained run in the team.
He will get a little breather leading up to Sunday’s game against Wolves as the team have a free week and one thing you can guarantee at present is that he will start.
Mourinho’s side need to find goals from somewhere and Lucas can make it extremely hard for his manager to drop him once Kane and Son return if he can score on a consistent basis and add to his seven goals for the season between now and May.
Here are the total appearances for players used by Jose Mourinho in his 22 games at Tottenham so far:
Lucas Moura 22
Toby Alderweireld 21
Dele Alli 21
Serge Aurier 20
Son Heung-min 18
Harry Winks 17
Davinson Sanchez 18
Giovani Lo Celso 16
Paulo Gazzaniga 15
Jan Vertonghen 15
Eric Dier 15
Christian Eriksen 14
Erik Lamela 11
Harry Kane 10
Moussa Sissoko 10
Tanguy Ndombele 10
Ryan Sessegnon 9
Hugo Lloris 7
Japhet Tanganga 7
Gedson Fernandes 6
Danny Rose 5
Steven Bergwijn 4
Ben Davies 4
Juan Foyth 3
Oliver Skipp 2
Kyle Walker-Peters 1
Victor Wanyama 1
Troy Parrott 1