The lowdown: Hot property
The Brazilian was previously tipped to make a sensational move to one of Europe’s elite superpowers as Liverpool, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Manchester United all paid close attention to his rapid rise to stardom prior to a €35m (£29m) switch to AC Milan from boyhood club Flamengo in 2019 (ESPN).
The balletic attacker only made 44 outings for the Serie A outfit before heading to Lyon, and more recently the 24-year-old has linked with a host of Premier League rivals including Tottenham and Newcastle, although any move is yet to materialise.
It now appears as though many of those suitors have fallen by the wayside, potentially clearing the path for the Gunners and Mikel Arteta to strike…
The latest: Arsenal ‘determined’ to land Paqueta
As per Media Foot, translated by Sport Witness, Arsenal ‘seem determined’ to make a deal happen for Paqueta during the ongoing summer transfer window. It’s claimed that the north Londoners are ‘pressing hard behind the scenes to try and push forward’ in their negotiations to sign the 33-cap Brazil international.
The report also states that Arsenal are attempting to ‘convince’ the 24-year-old to come to the Emirates Stadium, as Lyon aren’t ‘completely closing the door’ to the prospect of a sale.
In fact, it is stated that a move ‘could quickly be concluded’ if a bid in the region of €50m (£42m) is forthcoming for the player who was lauded for a ‘dazzling’ display against Lens in January 2021 by his then-manager Rudi Garcia.
Will Arsenal finish in the top 4 next year?
The verdict: Pay up
Although Arteta’s squad is relatively well-stocked when it comes to attack-minded midfielders, with Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe and summer arrival Fabio Vieira already in situ, opportunities to sign a player of Paqueta’s class don’t present themselves too often.
Last season, the Brazil forward scored 11 times and provided seven assists in 44 appearances across all competitions for Lyon, earning a superb 7.13 Sofascore rating. He completed 2.3 dribbles, won 7.3 duels and made 1.2 key passes per league game – a better dribbling return than both Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, who only managed 1.1 and 1.6 per match respectively.
Capable of operating as an advanced midfielder, in a box-to-box role and as a centre-forward, Paqueta boasts a wide-ranging wealth of attributes which would make the Brazilian an excellent addition to Arteta’s squad. As such, Edu should be actively pursuing this deal with vigour.
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