Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho kept the faith with Carlos Vinicius as his side drew 2-2 with Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Easter Sunday but he was far from repaid.
The Spurs boss made a U-turn on that decision by half-time, bringing on the returning Heung-min Son in his place. Perhaps a move he should have done from the off.
After the Magpies took an early lead, the visitors were quickly in the driving seat, thanks to a brace from Harry Kane.
But five minutes from time, Arsenal loanee Joe Willock fired home a late equaliser from close range to put a massive dent in Spurs’ top-four chances.
Of all the starters, Vinicius recorded the lowest number of touches (16), even less than goalkeeper Hugo Lloris (35) and substitutes Son (24) and Erik Lamela (21), as per SofaScore.
This shows how little an impact he had in the attack alongside Kane. Last time out, it was a partnership that saw the Brazilian net his first-ever goal in the Premier League but evidently, it failed to pay off in the north-east.
With those paltry touches, Vinicius made just three passes from six attempts, further emphasising just how anonymous he was in this encounter, whilst 50% of the time he was on the ball, he lost possession (eight times).
It’s no wonder he was hooked by the break.
He was also weak in his battles, winning just two of six duels, both in the air and on the ground (33%). As Mourinho outlined several months ago, the 6 foot 3 forward struggles with the press, which is why his game time has been limited behind Kane.
Crucially, as a striker, the £26m-rated star failed to contribute a single shot throughout his 45 minutes on the pitch, only making matters worse – by comparison, Lamela, who only played the final 26 minutes, still managed at least one attempt on goal.
The Evening Standard subsequently ranked Vinicius amongst the worst players on the pitch in Dan Kilpatrick’s ratings column, where he claimed the striker ‘offered little.’
Given Spurs hold the power over his future, they may want to think twice about activating that whopping £40m buyout clause come the summer window.
He badly let Mourinho down on Sunday afternoon despite the Portuguese making such a big call in choosing him to start over Son.
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