Tottenham Hotspur are believed to be interested in a move for Lyon playmaker Lucas Paqueta, according to the latest reports.
As per respected journalist Alasdair Gold, the north London outfit are keeping tabs on the Brazilian midfielder with regards to a potential deal this summer, with the club plotting alternatives if they are unsuccessful in their attempts to bring Christian Eriksen back to the club.
Speaking in a Q and A with supporters on Football.London, the club insider revealed that the 24-year-old is a player under consideration by Spurs if the Dane moves elsewhere: “If he [Eriksen] decides against Spurs then, among others, the club have also been looking at Lyon’s Brazil international Lucas Paqueta, a player Newcastle tried to sign earlier this year. The versatile 24-year-old can play in an attacking midfield role, centrally or on the right and can also play up front when required. ”
Having already wrapped up two summer deals – with a third on its way in the form of Brighton’s Yves Bissouma – it looks as if the Lilywhites are keen to press on with even more transfer business, with a potential move for the £31.5m-rated star signifying that manager Antonio Conte is set to be significantly backed this summer.
Despite bringing in Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur in January, the Italian had been somewhat critical of the lack of additional incomings in the winter window, although the recent evidence would suggest that it will be a different story this time around, amid reports that he could have a sizeable ‘war chest’ following a £150m cash injection.
As for Paqueta, in particular, the £49k-per-week maestro would offer some additional flair to what is at present a largely steely midfield, with the former AC Milan man having been the subject of praise from teammate Jerome Boateng, who tipped him to be a “world star” in the coming years.
The fleet-footed ace is seemingly the type of player who is likely to get supporters off their seats, with his mercurial talent unsurprisingly making him a highly-coveted asset this summer and one that could slot in beautifully into Conte’s side.
In the most recent campaign that quality was evident as the one-time Flamengo man provided nine goals and chipped in with a further six assists in 35 Ligue 1 outings, averaging 1.2 key passes per game and enjoying a solid 69% dribble success rate.
Not just a player who can make the difference in the final third, however, the 5 foot 11 machine also compares favourably to those in his position across Europe’s big five leagues in a number of defensive metrics, ranking in the top 1% for tackles made and the top 4% for pressures made, showcasing his willingness to also do the dirty work when required.
A player with a number of strings to his bow and one with invaluable versatility – as Gold alluded to – Paqueta appears to be a player that the Spurs faithful would simply love, with supporters undoubtedly buzzing to see their club keeping tabs on such an exciting talent.