Why has Lucas Moura not established himself as a regular starter for Tottenham Hotspur?
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17: Lucas Moura of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 2-2 during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at Etihad Stadium on August 17, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Why has Lucas Moura not established himself as a regular starter for Tottenham Hotspur?

The former PSG winger has become a fan favourite in North London due to his heroics in the Champions League and big game goals in the Premier League, but has not been able to hold down a spot in the starting 11 consistently.

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Daniel Huggins

Lucas Moura once again came up with the goods for Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend, scoring the equaliser as the Lilywhites snatched a point away to Premier League title holders Manchester City - with the help of VAR.

The Brazilian's header just seconds after entering the field of play as a substitute expands the collection of his goals of significant importance.

However, Lucas' contributions have surprisingly not warranted a regular starting spot for Mauricio Pochettino's side in arguably two of the biggest games in the last six months for Spurs - against City at the weekend and in the Champions League Final.

So why has Lucas not held down a regular spot in Tottenham's first team?

Other options preferred over the hero of Amsterdam 

Many expected Lucas to start the Champions League Final, with Harry Kane rushing his recovery period to be in contention for the match.

However, the 27-year-old was surprisingly dropped ahead of the game, with Pochettino opting for Heung-Min Son, Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen and Kane to be his attacking options for the match.

Spurs went on to lose the match - in what was one of the dullest Champions League Finals in history.

The Lilywhites lacked pace and creativity on the wings and the midfield kept a slow build-up approach which proved ineffective as little chances were created.

A similar story was told against City, as Spurs' shape remained very narrow with no inspiration offered from wide areas at all - until Lucas entered the game.

Pochettino must soon realise that Lucas offers an alternate dimension to his tactics, and his directness and pace accompanied with an impressive range of finishing put Tottenham in good stead for any match.

Humble personality behind the scenes

So many times has Lucas pinned his match-winning goals and man of the match displays on the work of God - before outlining his intention to work even harder and get even better.

The little magician is often seen on social media expressing his gratitude to his teammates for their efforts, and his gratitude to the fans for their support.

It is also fair to say the Brazilian has fallen in love with Tottenham - evident by his social media posts encouraging the team and getting involved with chants like "Oh when the Spurs go marching in".

His humbleness makes him a model professional and a joy for any manager to have - despite his manager's lack of trust in him to start the final.

"I have no problem with it," Moura said speaking after being dropped to the bench for the final last year. 

"Of course it was difficult because every player wants to play. I am sure it will have been a difficult decision.

"I need to respect the decision of the coach and respect my team-mates."I

It is great character to not kick up a fuss about missing out on starting in the biggest game of his career so far, but it is an even greater character to back his teammates and manager for the decision - a credit to Tottenham Hotspur.

Statistics do not lie

In 32 Premier League appearances in the 2018-19 campaign - many of which coming from the bench - Lucas grabbed an impressive 10 goals but only one assist.

This included a superb brace at Old Trafford against Manchester United, an equaliser at Anfield which later turned out to be a consolation goal against Liverpool, and an emphatic hat-trick against Huddersfield Town.

In 12 Champions League appearances, the forward scored five goals - an even better return which included his semi-final hat-trick against Ajax.

Area to improve on

Lucas' lack of assists, however, may be one thing Pochettino is concerned about and a factor when making his team selections.

Lucas only managed two assists in all competitions last season and for a natural winger, that is a poor statistic and a definite area to be improved upon.

However, the 27-year-old is a man who is always striving to better himself, and in two appearances this campaign, he has already got one assist - against Aston Villa, accompanied with a goal against City.

If Lucas can continue his efforts in upping his assist total as well as contributing in the goal department, there is no reason why he will be unable to hold down a spot in Tottenham's best starting eleven.

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