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Vinicius can be more than Kane's back-up, says Mourinho

Soccer Football - Europa League - Group J - Tottenham Hotspur v LASK Linz - Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain - October 22, 2020 Tottenham Hotspur's Carlos Vinicius in action with LASK Linz's Gernot Trauner REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

(Reuters) - Carlos Vinicius could play alongside Harry Kane at Tottenham Hotspur rather than just act as cover for the England striker, manager Jose Mourinho said after the Brazilian set up two goals in Thursday’s 3-0 Europa League victory over Austria’s LASK.

Vinicius, making his debut after joining Spurs on a season-long loan from Benfica, wasted a headed opportunity from close range in the opening 10 minutes before assisting on goals for Lucas Moura and Son Heung-min in either half.

Mourinho said the 25-year-old was still trying to settle into life in England and that Spurs had yet to see the best of him.

“He played well but he can do better. It’s a bit of a shame still, it’s not easy not to speak English so the adaption to the group in spite of having amazing guys that try to make him feel well, isn’t easy,” Mourinho told reporters.

“But we can see he’s much more ... he’s not selfish, he’s a good target man, he can even play with Harry Kane when his good period arrives ... and not just be the guy to cover him.”

Kane stayed on the bench in Thursday’s opening win, which put Spurs top of Group J. Mourinho’s side return to action in the Premier League on Monday with a trip to Burnley.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford