The Jos effect: Sheffield Wednesday's Lucas Joao shows remarkable improvement

Lucas Joao of Sheffield Wednesday celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Capital One Cup fourth round match between Sheffield Wednesday and Arsenal at Hillsborough...

Sheffield Wednesday’s Lucas Joao has been a different player over the past month.

Lucas Joao of Sheffield Wednesday celebrates his goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield Wednesday and Brentford at Hillsborough Stadium on February 13, 2016 in...

Sheffield Wednesday forward Lucas Joao has shown remarkable improvement since the arrival of new boss Jos Luhukay, culminating in his recent match-winning performance against Derby County.

The two-capped Portugal international joined the Owls in the summer of 2015 on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee, and was signed by former boss Carlos Carvalhal.

Arriving at Sheffield Wednesday as a young and inexperienced player, Joao saw first-team opportunities restricted under Carvalhal and ended up spending the latter stages of last season on loan at Blackburn Rovers.

Lucas Joao of Sheffield Wednesday (top) celebrates with team mates after the Sky Bet Championship Play Off semi final second leg match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Sheffield...

The likes of Gary Hooper, Jordan Rhodes, Fernando Forestieri and even Adthe Nuhiu have been favoured for the forward roles, but under new boss Luhukay the situation seems to have changed.

Whether by luck or injuries to his teammates, Joao has become a regular starter over the past month and the confidence shown in him by his new boss has seen a stark improvement across the board.

  DateTeamGoals per gameShots per gameChances created per gameBig Chance created per gameDuel Wons per gamePasses per gameTackles per gameDribbles per gameMins Played
Lucas João  Before Jan 5th Sheff Wed 0.17 1.33 0.25 0 3.92 13.75 0.33 0.83 434
Lucas João  After Jan 5th Sheff Wed 0.5 2.17 1 0.33 7.67 21.83 0.67 1.83 480

As shown by the table provided by Opta, Joao has become a player much more involved in Wednesday’s attacking play. The 24-year-old averages more goals, attempts on goal, chances created, duels won, total passes, tackles and completed dribbles under Luhukay than he managed under former boss Carvalhal.

Carlos Carvalhal, Manager of Swansea City during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Burnley at Liberty Stadium on February 10, 2018 in Swansea, Wales.

Joao’s remarkable improvement was clear in the recent outing against promotion chasing Derby County, as the forward bagged two excellent goals.

The 2-0 victory has eased any worries fans had regarding a potential slide towards the relegation zone, and now Sheffield Wednesday can look ahead with growing confidence.

Joao has all the capabilities to go on and become a top player at Championship level, and under Luhukay it seems his potential has been recognised.

Jos Luhukay, Manager of Sheffield Wednesday during The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round match between Sheffield Wednesday and Reading on January 26, 2018 in Sheffield, United Kingdom.

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