‘He can not just be the guy to cover him’: Jose Mourinho insists Carlos Vinicius can play WITH star striker Harry Kane after starring in Europa League victory
The Brazilian was handed his debut in the Europa League Group J game against LASK and made a good impact, creating two goals in a 3-0 win in north London.
He set up goals in either half for Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min and would have opened his account had Andres Andrade not turned a Gareth Bale cross into his own goal.
Jose Mourinho says Carlos Vinicius can play alongside Tottenham’s star striker Harry Kane
Mourinho was enthused by his debut and says he can be more than just a deputy to Kane.
‘He played well but he can do better,’ Mourinho said. ‘It is a bit of a shame still, it is not easy not to speak English so the adaption to the group, in spite of having amazing guys that try to make him feel well, is not easy.
‘Different football, different way to play, to think, learning the way we press, learning the attacking movements.
‘He is still in a learning process, Vinicius can be much more than this. But first match I am really happy, the only thing that was missing was a goal.
‘But we can see he is much more than… he is not selfish, he is a good target man, he can even play with Harry Kane when his good period arrives.
The new signing put in an impressive debut performance with two assists against LASK
Mourinho said Vinicius played well but has room to improve in his Tottenham outfit
‘He can play with Harry and not just be the guy to cover him. I am very happy and the feelings over everyone in the squad are good towards him.’
Kane had a rare watching brief from the bench and he saw Vinicius getting involved from the off.
He got off to an inauspicious start, missing a sitter from eight yards out, but grew into it and set up Moura’s 18th-minute opener with a good piece of play.
Gareth Bale was supposed to be the story of the night, making his first start of his second spell at the club, and he almost laid a goal on for Vinicius, but his cross was turned into his own net by Andrade.
Vinicius then teed up Son in the final 10 minutes to complete a memorable debut for the club.
It was an evening that highlighted the strength of the Spurs squad, with Mourinho making eight changes, with left-back Ben Davies being used in a central defensive role.
Mourinho insisted that the Brazilian can play alongside Kane and is not just cover for the star
The Welshman impressed Mourinho who says he does not have to alternate with fellow left-back Sergio Reguilon.
‘A little bit like Harry and Vinicius,’ Mourinho said. ‘When we’re speaking about Vinicius being a good player too and say he only plays when Harry doesn’t, it’s good that Vinicius can play with Harry.
‘Ben and Reguilon is a little bit the same. Can they play together or for one to play and the other one has to be on the bench? Yes they can play together and that’s a very good thing for us.
‘Ben is very intelligent. So that’s why it’s quite easy to understand the difference between playing left-back, centre-back with five or centre-back with four.
‘Of course left-footed there are not many centre-backs with a left foot. Some clubs have them but the majority don’t.
‘To have him as an option is also good because to attack, the build-up is also important.’
LASK were never in the game and their head coach Dominik Thalhammer knew the task was too big.
‘It is a Champions League team, so our view has to be realistic,’ he said. ‘You have to recognise there is a gap between the two teams. You can’t expect to come here and win, Tottenham are a top team with fantastic individual players.’