Conte press conference: Tottenham player has found this season really 'difficult'
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Conte press conference: Tottenham player has found this season really 'difficult'

Antonio Conte was asked about Lucas Moura at his press conference before Tottenham face Arsenal on Sunday.

It has been reported that Spurs will not renew the Brazilian’s contract between now and the end of the season, meaning he is free to leave as a free agent.

Lucas has started just two games this season and Conte said he planned for the winger to be more important than injuries have allowed him to be.

The £23 million man will miss the north London derby, and that means he will potentially never play in the fixture again, unless the sides are drawn against each other in the FA Cup.

Photo by Vincent Mignott/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Conte asked about Lucas at his press conference before Arsenal clash

Conte said about Lucas leaving: “This is the decision of the club. For sure this season is a difficult season for Lucas. Also at the same time for us, also honestly in my mind when we planned this season Lucas was an important player for us.

“If you see the season, he’s played one or two games, maybe also in the Champions League against Marseille but with pain. First of all the damage is for me and the team because a player like Lucas is a good player and also he helped us reach the Champions League.

“Don’t have the possibility to use him and for the injuries. Was really difficult, Kulusevski and Richarlison injured. Wasn’t easy. Then if you ask me about the decision of the club, I respect the decision the club makes.You know when we started the season Lucas was one of the five strikers. We play with three and then Lucas was one of the five strikers.

“Instead because of this injury, I faced the season with only four strikers and then you know with Gil, we’re talking about a young player. It is important to have another option to help us. Lucas from the start of the season I count about him but he was never present to help us.”

It remains to be seen how much of a contribution Lucas can make to Tottenham between now and the end of the season.

His first task is to get fit and it is not clear what the timeframe is on that happening after so long out of the picture.

Spurs look set to lose him as a free agent, and perhaps that will influence any decision over a potential new forward this month.

But for now, the focus is on the derby, where Dejan Kulusevski will be back available, which is a real boost for Conte, despite the recent form of the aforementioned Gil.

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