Tottenham tactics: Whose minutes will Lucas take?

DETROIT, MI - JULY 19: Lucas Moura
DETROIT, MI - JULY 19: Lucas Moura /

Lucas will take minutes from several Tottenham stars

Now that Tottenham are closing in on the signing of Lucas Moura, it’s time to focus on how the talented Brazilian will impact Mauricio Pochettino’s squad. Chiefly, this piece will predict which Spurs stars are set to lose minutes to the pacy attacker.

The short answer to the query is that Lucas will ease the workload of all of Pochettino’s attacking midfielders. Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son are forced to play too many minutes at the moment. The return of Erik Lamela from injury has eased their workload slightly, but not enough.

Unfortunately, Lucas’ arrival isn’t going to provide Eriksen a ton of rest. The talented Dane could certainly stand to see his burden lessened, but Lucas isn’t a like-for-like replacement. He can play through the middle in a pinch, but expect the bulk of his playing time to come out wide.

As such, Son and Dele are the two players who should see their playing time most impacted. In particular, the South Korean should be a bit concerned about his place in the starting XI. Son’s had a great season, but Pochettino’s propensity to make him the first player taken off the pitch in most matches is highly instructive. He understands that when Son isn’t scoring, he doesn’t provide the club much else.

More from Tottenham Hotspur

The real question becomes whether or not Pochettino will trust Dele to play in Eriksen’s place during select matches. He has the passing ability to play as a number ten, but he’s given the ball away far too much this season to play that role. It’s very possible that Pochettino will elect to make Lamela the primary backup for Eriksen through the middle.

If that happens, Pochettino will settle into a solid rotation with his wide attacking players. Lucas, Dele and Son can split the two spots fairly evenly over time. Having three quality wide men at his disposal would be perfect for the work rate Pochettino requires from his attacking midfielders.

Next: Tottenham move too late for Lucas' teammate

The ultimate point here is that acquiring Lucas will finally give Tottenham with the proper number of options for their attacking midfield. Even if he doesn’t crack the club’s starting XI, his presence on the bench could be a game-changer for Tottenham. Now we just need to see if Levy can get this deal over the line.