Pleasantly surprising output from Tottenham’s Europa League specialist

Tottenham’s Carlos Vinicius, after his brace last evening against Wolfsberger, has six goals in seven Europa League matches, just one shy of the competition’s goalscoring lead, informs the HotspurHQ.

The Brazilian is making the most of his time on the pitch, and is a integral part of Tottenham’s Europa League machine. Vinicius has three helpers to go along with six goals, while accumulating a number of near misses. If not for a goal-line clearance in the dying embers of the first half last night, Vinicius would have notched a hat trick.

Being Harry Kane’s understudy is one of the most difficult roles in all of European football. So many have tried and failed to fulfil the requirements of the oft-thankless role. Barely getting a sniff of Premier League action, Vinicius must accept his stand-in responsibilities. He knew what he was getting into when he signed for Spurs, so his lack of top flight action will come as no surprise.

What’s most impressive, then, is how well he’s acquitted himself in the Europa League, capitalizing on being, for the most part, Spurs’ main attacking option. The 25-year-old would have been bitterly disappointed with not starting in the first leg against Wolfsberberger, as Jose Mourinho opted to employ Son Heung-Min as the side’s lone forward.

The decision paid off, but that won’t lessen the Brazilian’s dejection. Defiant but still oozing positivity, Vinicius came on in the second half to score Tottenham’s fourth. He got the starting nod last night and made a statement of intent. It’s definitely now his position to lose, as he dominated Wolfsberger at every turn.

Too physical and aggressive for an inferior Wolfsberger side, Vinicius made all the right decisions. I’d like to say he has played himself into contention for a Premier League start, but we all know that’s simply not the case.

For as long as Kane is around, no understudy — if the Englishman is fully fit — has any hope of starting a Premier League match in the legend’s stead.

But kudos to Vinicius for taking his opportunity to showcase his impressive array of skills. Let’s see, when the tournament enters the business phase, if he has what it takes to measure up to some of Europe’s best sides.

Or at that point is it Kane’s turn to swoop in and, like we’ve seen so many times before, respectfully upstage yet another ambitious understudy?