Last weekend’s 3-0 win over Bordeaux could not have been possible without the composure of one Lucas Moura. The little Brazilian has matured into one of Laurent Blanc’s most dependable players in the last few weeks and it is a testament to the player having had his critics at the start of the season.
In the absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani, it was the number seven who undertook the responsibly from 12-yards to beat Cedric Carrasso – not once – but twice. That alone underlines the trust now embedded in him as he has become – along with Javier Pastore – PSG’s best attacking outlet in the past four weeks. Would he have been trusted to take this duty before the month of October? I am not so sure but the form he has been in has been mesmeric at times and it is pure glee to see him flourish in a Parisian shirt.
We have seen snippets. There have been spells before this season of his undoubted ability. But SIMPLY not enough. He has had to readjust to the European lifestyle after growing up on the other side of the world. His arrival in January of last year was a coup in one sense. Landing one of the hottest young properties in the sport but also the eye watering fee paid for such an inexperienced player raised eyebrows. He has had to take his place on the bench at times during his short Parisian career. But, this was always going to be a definitive season after his first full one last campaign – winning a league and cup double in the process.
Laurent Blanc has utilised him as somewhat of a second striker in Zlatan’s absence, playing just off Cavani (Bahebeck at the weekend). He will drift out wide where he is most effective but that role has suited him down to the ground. He can come inside and influence the play as well as run at the opposition defence on the counter-attack. The lad’s confidence is growing with each game. The performance against FC Barcelona in that infamous 3-2 win was superb. He had Jordi Alba run ragged at one point. This is not any player but an established Spanish international playing for one of the best teams in the world but Lucas made him look out of his depth.
Five days later, LM netted the opener in the 1-1 draw with Monaco. We were sloppy in dropping two points there in what was a difficult game. Lucas got the all-important opener for us though with intelligent movement at the far post to slot home a Bahebeck ball across goal. Again, he was influential.
It is not just in attack either. He tracks back, does his fair share of running. Against Barca he was undertaking a real defensive responsibly by winning a fair share of tackles that Thiago Motta would have applauded. He has a good attitude that will only benefit him, as well as the team.
Just a week before that win over Barcelona, Lucas has his best game in a PSG shirt away to Caen. Yes, the opposition was inferior but it is no coincidence that since that game he has continued to blossom. It was his best display since he signed for the club, coming up with a goal in the process which got that monkey off our back of not winning away this season.
In an interview with Le Parisien this week he acknowledged his good start to the season but also knows he has work to do: “Physically, I feel better, much more than last year. But I have to keep working hard to improve….I want to get better & better. Help my team win titles and make history at PSG. I am very happy in Paris, which is the main thing…I always try to improve. I am still very young. I do not know my limits, only God knows. But I know I have many qualities”.
One thing that is a criticism is his decision making, particularly with his end product. There have been instances, particularly at the start of this campaign where he has not made the right choice. The two that spring to mind is on the opening day against Reims where he opted to go alone instead of square the ball to Ibra for a tap-in. And his failure to hit the target when one on one with goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen against Ajax which was purely not good enough. He comes across as a good, honest young man and he says that he has sleepless nights over incidents like the aforementioned; “I can have sleepless nights, repeating situations in a game, rethinking what I should have done”.
We are coming up to November and he has already equalled his goal haul of five in the league last season. That says it all for me. He has started brightly, he is getting better and now you can say he is one Paris Saint-Germain’s most important players. This has also been rewarded with a recall to the Brazilian national team.
Lucas Moura is now well on his way to becoming a superstar.