Carlos Carvalhal says Lucas Joao is improving day by day and has all the attributes to make it at Hillsborough.
The 22-year-old played 80 minutes of Wednesday’s cup-tie at Newcastle and the head coach said the powerful forward was key to victory.
He explained: “Lucas and Marco did fantastic team work, they closed down very well, they pressed the central defenders, they pressed the midfielders.
“If Lucas and Marco, and after that Bus and Nuhiu, didn’t play like they did for the team, I’m absolutely sure we would have lost that match.
“We won the match because they protected the midfield and worked very hard.”
Joining the club from Portuguese outfit Nacional in the summer, Joao is still in the process of adapting to the Championship but Carvalhal is happy with his progress and continued:
“Lucas is a boy, as I have told you. He is still learning everything.
“In the past, Lucas played all the time with space and created a lot of damage to the opponents.
“Now he is playing in a different kind of environment because he is playing against aggressive defenders, players that are compact and strong but he is learning, he has potential.
“He has everything to be successful here. The last two matches he gave us signs that he is understanding, so he will do better day by day.
“He needs opportunities, he needs chances to play and time. He is fast, tall, strong, good in the air, can shoot with the right and with the left.
“Now he is learning the movements.”