Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino thanks work done by Steve Hitchen in the Lucas Moura transfer

28 Aug

Mauricio Pochettino used his post-match press conference to thank Steve Hitchen, Tottenham Hotspur’s chief scout for his part in signing Lucas Moura.

The Brazilian put in a man of the match performance in Spurs’ 3-0 win at Manchester United by scoring two goals at Old Trafford.

Moura, 26, was signed from Paris Saint-Germain for £25million in January and, in addition, to his double against United, also scored in the win against Fulham, which comes after a strong pre-season.

Lucas Moura scored two goals in Tottenham’s 3-0 win at Old Trafford and his manager, Mauricio Pochettino, thinks chief scout Steve Hitchen deserves a lot of credit for signing him in the first place

Pochettino acknowleded the player is likely to receive a lot of praise, but the Tottenham manager reserved praise for his backroom team. “I want to say to our chief scout Steve Hitchen and all the people that worked with him, because they advised to sign him. When the people sometimes criticise because always it is tough now, I think I need to say well done, because today’s performance from Lucas Moura, for the people that advised and feel responsible too, they need to be praised too.

“That is why I want to congratulate them. There are always people who are working behind and it was a fantastic job because today I think Lucas deserves a lot of credit.”

Lucas Moura arrived from PSG for £25m in January 2018

Hitchen is currently in his second spell at the club, having returned in 2017. For a long time he was the club’s man in France, so it’s a league he knows well and when he initially left in 2010 to follow Damien Comolli to Liverpool, manager Harry Redknapp was not happy.

“Damien knows the French scene especially, and he’s got a big scouting network,” he said at the time. “In fact, we have just lost our French scout, who is excellent.

“He’s just gone to Liverpool, so he’s nicked him off us a bit lively. It’s a boy called Steve Hitchen and he was really good, an English boy who lived in France.

“He’s gone to Liverpool. But he was very, very good and we liked him a lot. He would have been our main scout abroad.”

Asked about Moura’s development since arriving, Pochettino pointed to the fact the player joined midway through the season and therefore needed time to reach the level his new team-mates were playing at.

Mauricio Pochettino was thrilled with Lucas Moura’s display at Old Trafford

“It’s easy to say now it was fantastic the improvement. Of course that is another example that when the player arrives in the middle of the season it’s not easy to get them to good performances.

“It’s not easy to explain to you or our fans that we need patience and to wait to get the best from our players, after a pre-season and to have the possibility to show their quality. He is showing his quality. I am so happy, he’s a great guy and he brought the team different skills, different alternatives and the most important thing is to find a different place to how he was finding in Paris last year. I think it’s to find the best place to help him to perform in the way that we want.”