Lucas Moura has slammed his time under Unai Emery as the ‘worst seven months of my life’ but what really happened between the two?
The new Tottenham hero, who arrived at the club for £25.2m in January, has got off to a blistering start in this season’s Premier League with three goals in three games, including a brace against United on Monday night.
The Brazilian signed for PSG from Sao Paulo in 2013, three years before Emery was appointed coach and played regularly under him in his first season, making 48 appearances, scoring 19 and assisting 10.
The 17/18 season, however, saw him play only 79 minutes for the French champions in a dramatic reversal of fortunes that saw him fail to start a single game.
“It was very hard, the worst seven months of my life,” Moura told ESPN Brazil.
“I came from a very good season, I was second top scorer of the team, only behind Cavani.
“The following season, I wasn’t even called up. I used to go to practice, I wasn’t even in the game. I used to go back home.
“Anyway, it was very difficult. But I kept working hard, strong. And God gave me the best gift of life, my son.”
So what happened?
There are, of course, a few theories and it seems clear that something did indeed happen between the pair. Although Kylian Mbappe and Neymar had to be accommodated, a player rarely drops from 3,478 minutes and second-highest goalscorer to 79 the following season simply because new players arrived.
When asked about the player’s future before he was sold to Spurs (and shortly after the Neymar-Cavani story hit the papers), Emery couldn’t have been clearer that the door was open for him to leave “I have talked to him,” Emery said, “and with all due respect to him, I think he has no options here and he has to look for another club because he is a great player.”
Neymar, however, was not happy with the sale of his compatriot and spoke out about it in the press. “It is normal,” Emery told journalists in response to Neymar’s comments. “They are friends and they are both Brazilian — they have played together for their country.
“I wish Lucas all the best. He needed the chance to be a key figure for a team, so it was better for him to leave Paris. He has made a good choice in joining Tottenham — he will be an important figure there and he will continue to develop and grow.
“Lucas enjoyed a good spell here and helped PSG to develop, now he will continue to grow there.”
Unless Emery or Moura reveal what really happened, we will probably never know with any clairty. What we can say, however, is whatever happened in Paris has benefited Tottenham and that, as we know, is never a good thing.