Alan Smith has claimed Tottenham Hostpur striker Carlos Vinicius is capable of stepping up to replace talisman Harry Kane for Sunday’s trip to Brighton and Hove Albion, writing in his Evening Standard column.
Spurs slipped to a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Liverpool last night, with defeat compounded by Kane being substituted at half time after taking knocks to both ankles.
Manager Jose Mourinho confirmed after the game he expects Kane to be sidelined for a “few weeks”, something Tottenham fans will have been fearing.
Their captain suffers a weakness in his ankles, something unscrupulous opponents will target.
Vinicius offers ‘crumbs of comfort’
Vinicius was left on the bench during the Liverpool game but Smith believes that situation should change. And he has backed the Brazilian to make an impact if handed rare game time.
Smith said: “If Tottenham fans are looking for crumbs of comfort at a time when optimism is seeping away, they can turn to Carlos Vinicius with a lot more confidence than previous replacements.
“In Vinicius, Jose Mourinho seems to have recruited a centre-forward who can come straight into the team and offer a goalscoring threat. That would, at least, soften the blow.”
Struggling for game time
The Brazilian forward has made just four league appearances so far this season and failed to find the net.
However, he did score three goals during the Europa League group stages and netted a hat-trick against non-league outfit Marine in the FA Cup. His displays revealed a ruthless finisher who likes to prowl in the penalty area.
Spurs have tried to find back-up strikers for Kane for a number of years, with little success. Roberto Soldado, Vincent Janssen and Fernando Llorente all failed to convince when given opportunities to step up.
Vinicius, however, could be the best of the bunch. Can he make his mark in the absence of Kane? Spurs fans will hope to get an answer this weekend.
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