Arsenal are plotting a bid for Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta as Mikel Arteta continues his big summer rebuilding project.
That’s according to French outlet Media Foot Marseille, who claim that Arsenal are pushing hard to sign the player from Lyon, with the French side expecting to receive an offer soon.
Paqueta has three years left on his current contract and it will take a bumper bid for any club to prise him away from Ligue 1, with previous reports indicating that any potential fee could be around the £58m mark, however, Media Foot Marseille suggest that OL would be willing to accept an offer of around €50m (£42m) this summer.
Arsenal have already added the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Fabio Vieira, Matt Turner and Marquinhos to their squad this summer, and it now looks like Arteta wants to further strengthen his midfield.
Paqueta has excelled since moving to Lyon from AC Milan in 2020, especially last season, scoring 11 goals and adding eight assists in Ligue 1 and the Europa League combined.
Compared to positional peers in the top five European Leagues, Paqueta ranks in the top 9% for total shots (3.06 per 90), top 10% for attempted passes (53.26 per 90) and in the top 1% for tackles made (2.89) displaying his excellence over a wide range of attributes and this ability to assist the team in defence or attack would be a big bonus for Arteta.
Talent scout Jacek Kulig described the Brazilian as a “joy to watch” and it’s fair to say that his performances have caught the eye of a few potential suitors.
At Arsenal, only Bukayo Saka scored more goals than Paqueta last season (12) and it’s clear that in order for the club to get back to the Champions League, they need to be signing players in the calibre of the Brazilian ahead of the 2022/23 campaign -otherwise it could be another backwards step in the post-Wenger malaise that the club seem to find itself in.
However, with it looking as if Lyon have now given Arsenal the green light to make a £42m move for the 24-year-old this summer, should Edu be successful in his impending swoop for the “amazing” – in the words of Aaron Jaffe – talent, it would appear to give The Emirates’ chances of hosting Champions League football once again in 2023/24 a huge boost.