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Lucas Moura relishing new central role at Tottenham

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With the emergence of Gareth Bale, Lucas has found a new role in the hole.

Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

The emergence of Gareth Bale at Tottenham Hotspur over the past few weeks has been one of the most exciting things to happen to Spurs in a while. While Bale has seemingly now made himself somewhat indispensable on the right side of the attacking midfield, it has resulted in a tactical tweak for Lucas Moura, who has now been moved into more of a central role.

That’s okay with Lucas. In quotes provided to the press after Spurs’ 4-1 dismantling of Crystal Palace on Sunday, Lucas has said that he’s played in the hole before earlier in his career, and that he’s relishing the opportunity to play football in a slightly different way than we’ve become accustomed to since his arrival at Tottenham.

“I’m happy to be involved and I feel very comfortable in that position. When I was younger, I always played as a number 10 and I like that position because I feel free. I can run from left to right, I can play in the middle, I can touch more balls, I can create situations for the strikers.

“So I like that position and I’m happy with the confidence that Jose has given me. I just have to give my best and keep going in the same way.”

In theory, that puts Lucas in direct competition with several other players at that position including Dele, Erik Lamela, and even Tanguy Ndombele and (when he returns) Giovani Lo Celso. However, one of the neat things about every player on that list, including Lucas, is that they are all positionally flexible players, and that gives Jose Mourinho a number of different options on how to set up his squad depending on the opponent.

And for Lucas, that’s also fine, because he’s enjoying his football and playing with the rest of the squad, no matter what position he’s in.

“It’s a big, big pleasure for me to play with these players and also because they are very good guy. I’m so happy, I’m so proud to be part of this team and I feel very comfortable playing with them. I’m happy with the team and happy with the results. We just need to keep going in this way.”

As good as Bale has been recently, he’s still a player that is going to have his minutes carefully managed, so it’s quite likely there are going to be minutes on the right wing to be had later on in the season. That positional flexibility means Lucas is going to be in the mix with a bunch of other guys in various combinations as Spurs finds an appropriate attacking balance. And as long as Spurs are in the Europa League, there will be tons of good opportunities for everyone.