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Lucas Paqueta: a midfield magician who would shine at Arsenal

Reports link Arsenal with a move for Lyon’s Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta.

He would be a fine addition to Mikel Arteta’s burgeoning squad.

Arsenal has already signed an impressive Brazil international in the shape of Gabriel Jesus, the forward completing a £45m/€53m transfer from Manchester City.

Jesus joins Fabio Vieira (from Porto), Matt Turner (New England Revolution) and Marquinhos (Sao Paulo).

A potential move for Paqueta would be as exciting as any that have preceded it, though, with Lyon club president Jean-Michel Aulas recently confirming that a bid had been tabled.

“There are proposals for him,” he admitted. “There are certain players who can feel complete in the project and others who don’t. But, economically, we have the means to pursue our ideas and objectives.

“I want to keep all the good players, but you also have to be realistic,” coach Peter Bosz. “There is the player who is very important in the matter, the coach, the club, the other clubs. So it is always a game between the different parties.”

What kind of player is Lucas Paqueta?

Paqueta had a false start in European football after leaving Flamengo for AC Milan in 2019, only scoring one goal in 44 outings across his season-and-a-half at the San Siro, but he has blossomed since moving to Lyon in late 2020.

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Lucas Paqueta: a midfield magician who would shine at Arsenal

Paqueta prefers to line up in the No.10 position as a left-footed attacking midfielder.

But this term has also been used across the midfield and as a striker.

Despite Lyon’s struggles as a team – OL could only finish eighth in the league last term.

Paqueta scored nine goals and assisted six; his underlying stats suggest he could have had even more in each column.

Paqueta is a svelte 5’11” player whose silky-smooth control makes him a nightmare for opposition markers to dispossess, but as well as his crowd-pleasing evasions, he also does a lot with the ball after keeping it.

Lucas Paqueta was in the 91st percentile for shots league-wide last season, and the 94th for progressive passes received.

But he was also diligent in trying to win the ball back – evidenced by his averages of 24 pressures and three tackles per game.

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Lucas Paqueta: a midfield magician who would shine at Arsenal
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