Arsenal and Aston Villa are vying for Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta, with the Brazilian pencilled to move to England.
According to Fichajes, Arsenal and Aston Villa could battle for Brazil international midfielder Lucas Paqueta, amid considerable interest in the Lyon star. The Copa America finalist will have options to choose from as a summer move is expected, with the player reportedly keen on the Premier League.
Lucas Paqueta never got to grips with the game during his time at AC Milan, who paid a huge £35 million fee to Flamengo to acquire him. in January 2019. Eighteen months later they sold the Brazilian for nearly half that price after a terrible dip in form at the San Siro.
Since signing for Lyon, Paqueta has become an integral part of the club’s system, successfully filling the gap left by Nabil Fekir since his departure to Real Betis. The attacking midfielder has taken his game to the next level this season, keeping his consistency from the previous campaign intact.
He has been a regular goalscorer from his position. He has already netted four goals from ten Ligue 1 appearances this season, keeping in line to reach the nine strikes he bagged in the previous domestic campaign. Paqueta also delivers a considerable amount of assists. His performances have attracted interest from several clubs, especially from the Premier League.
Arsenal and Aston Villa are reportedly keen on the attacking midfielder and could begin talks with Lyon over a summer transfer. According to the report, Lyon may demand his current market value, rated at €35 million. They are looking to make a decent profit on their original outlay on the Brazilian. That figure certainly falls in the affordable range of either Arsenal or Aston Villa.
Arsenal have been looking at signing another attacking midfielder despite bringing in Martin Odegaard in the summer. Mikel Arteta wants another option, as he might view the Norwegian’s future in central midfield. Even with the presence of Emile Smith Rowe, the manager wants another player who is versatile enough to play in attacking or central midfield.
Paqueta certainly has those qualities. He has played a near equal number of games in both those positions for Lyon and Milan. He is considered an aggressive presence on the pitch, and the Gunners might do well with such a player who can provide that bite in midfield.
Aston Villa kept themselves busy during the summer window. The £100 million they received for star man Jack Grealish was spent well acquiring attacking players. Among those was an attacking midfielder in Emiliano Buendia, although before the window closed, Villa made a series of bids for Arsenal star Smith Rowe.
The interest in Smith Rowe highlighted that Dean Smith still wanted another attacking midfielder to complete his team. While the pursuit of Arsenal’s new no.10 was largely unsuccessful, Villa are expected to sign a known name in the next windows. Paqueta will certainly suit the side, and the presence of international teammate Douglas Luiz could help lure the Lyon star to Villa Park.
However, a player like the Brazilian might only be available in the summer window, as Lyon may not sell him midway through the season. He will be a good signing for either of those Premier League sides. Meanwhile, Paqueta is keen on testing himself in the Premier League, and next summer may be a good time to do that.