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Friday, January 11, 2013
Ancelotti impressed by Lucas

Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Carlo Ancelotti has praised €40 million new signing Lucas Moura's efforts in adapting to life in Ligue 1, with the Brazilian poised to make his Paris Saint-Germain debut on Friday.

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Lucas, 20, agreed to move to the French capital last summer but only completed his switch from Sao Paulo in late December following the end of the Brazilian club's season. After a break over the festive period, the attacking midfielder was expected to be slowly eased into action.

He was left out of last weekend's Coupe de France tie with amateurs Arras, but he impressed Ancelotti at PSG's winter training camp in Qatar, where he featured in a 5-1 friendly win over Lekhwiya. Though the Italian acknowledged there is still work to be done, Ancelotti confirmed he will hand Lucas a place in the starting line-up against Ajaccio at the Parc des Princes.

"Physically, he's good. Technically, too. Tactically, he needs to settle into his role with us, but he's used to playing on the flank," Ancelotti, who is likely to sacrifice either Javier Pastore or Jeremy Menez for the new arrival, said. "Lucas is going to improve still further with training. And there's no problem with communication. He's playing with a lot of Brazilians, he speaks English well. He'll integrate quickly."

The player himself certainly seems intent on making the most of his first venture into European football. Cosseted in a five-star hotel near Paris' opera house and supplied with a club chauffeur, Lucas has been exploring the City of Light.

"Now I can confirm what everyone says about Paris. The city is very beautiful, really beautiful," he tweeted on Thursday, adding pictures of himself beside Paris' most iconic landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower. "I'm a little nostalgic for Brazil, but I'm happy here, and I'm adapting very well."

Lucas' mother will stay with him in Paris, and he met his father and other relatives and friends off the plane at Charles de Gaulle airport on Thursday after they jetted in to see his Ligue 1 debut.

Currently leading the table, PSG hope Lucas, who could cost them a further €5 million in bonuses depending on the success of his stay at the Parc des Princes, will help steer them safely to a first Ligue 1 crown since 1994. While the French footballing public waits impatiently for their first glimpse of a man PSG president Nasser Al Khelaifi has hailed as "the new Messi", he has already impressed his new team-mates.

"He's quickly found his place," full-back Christophe Jallet said. "It's going well. He wants to go towards others. There are a lot of Brazilians here, and that's helped his integration. He has exceptional qualities. He's really quick, technical and has quite a shot on him. With him, we have more chance of winning the title."

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