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.
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.
|Date||Team||Goals per game||Shots per game||Chances created per game||Big Chance created per game||Duel Wons per game||Passes per game||Tackles per game||Dribbles per game||Mins 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.
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.