Reputable journalist Fabrizio Romano has shed some light on the pursuit from Arsenal to sign Lyon forward Lucas Paqueta.
The lowdown: Wanted man
Any potential swoop was handed a significant boost recently when a report from Media Foot Marseille claimed that the Ligue 1 club are willing to accept £34million for the 24-year-old, a substantial price drop from a previously mooted £68million demand.
Despite the apparent admiration, no move has yet materialised and one transfer expert has delivered his verdict on the current state of play regarding Paqueta…
The latest: Edu makes contact
He said: “At the moment there is nothing close for Arsenal. There is an interest because Edu, of course, with his Brazilian link knows the players so well and had some contact with his agent but never submitted a proposal.”
The verdict: Make it happen
Holding a perceived market value of £31.5million and under contract in France until 2025 (Transfermarkt), the freshly reported price point for a player of Paqueta’s calibre has to be regarded as a bargain opportunity that cannot be overlooked.
Albeit Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is blessed in terms of attacking midfield options with Martin Odegaard, Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli already in situ at N7, the Brazilian’s ability to operate centrally and in wide positions make the former AC Milan man a smart addition to the ranks, particularly given the increased demands facing the squad next term.
Last season, Paqueta – who was hailed as an ‘exemplary’ performer by teammate Karl Toko-Ekambi – scored 11 times and provided seven assists in 43 appearances across all competitions – highlighting a willingness to influence matches in the final third, more so than another heavily linked target in Youri Tielemans who only managed 12 direct goal contributions in 50 appearances.
Loved by Arsenal icon Thierry Henry for his ‘dribbling and blind passing‘, the balletic Brazilian earned a 7.13 Sofascore rating whilst winning 7.3 duels, completing 2.3 dribbles and making 1.2 key passes on average per outing during the 2021/22 Ligue 1 campaign, form that would light up the Emirates Stadium and see Paqueta become an instant hit with the North Londoners.
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