The 22-year-old England international was on the scoresheet again today as the North Londoners beat Aston Villa 2-0 in the Premier League.
When asked whether Townsend could fill the void left by the £85m man, the Portuguese coach replied: "Gareth's influence grew to be immense in the last season. It is early days for Andros, but I think it was a great performance.
"Alongside the team, it grew in the second half, and he really improved his performance. He gives us so many attacking options because he is able to take the team forward with his driving ability and link-up play, crossing, assisting.
"It was another great performance, like we saw for his country. It was great to see."