Tottenham Hotspur transfer target Lucas Paqueta could now be sold by Lyon in the coming weeks, according to recent reports…
The Premier League leaders have regularly been mooted with interest in the Brazilian midfielder over the course of the summer transfer window and now it appears as if the Ligue 1 outfit are prepared to offload him for the right fee.
Arsenal are also mentioned in the report, so if the Lilywhites remain keen on the 24-year-old, then sporting director Fabio Paratici will need to act swiftly, especially with the door now seemingly open for a move.
It appears that the Lilywhites’ priority before deadline day on September is the addition of a new creative midfielder and one name that is constantly cropping up in the press is AS Roma star Nicolo Zaniolo.
But with Lyon willing to sell Paqueta, should Spurs turn their attention back to the French top-flight?
Well, the 6-foot maestro was something of a standout star for Lyon last season, where he delivered ten goals and seven assists across 42 appearances in both Ligue 1 and the Europa League.
And when compared to similar attack-minded midfielders and wingers across Europe, Paqueta rises to the top and it’s not just down to his goal contributions.
As per FBref, the 24-year-old dynamo ranked inside the top 1% for tackles (2.83 per 90), the top 6% for pressures (23.36 per 90), the top 10% for total shots (3.04), and the top 12% for non-penalty expected goals and assists (0.59 per 90).
So not only is he getting in the right places to provide an assist or score a goal but he’s working hard with a high-intensity press, putting in tackles and running his socks off.
When you compare these numbers to that of Zaniolo, it’s night and day and it merely highlights why Paqueta would be a far greater signing for the Italian and his intense tactical system in north London.
Also per FBref, the Italy international only betters the aforementioned target for shots (3.2 per 90). He sits in the top 64% for tackles (1.23 per 90), the top 52% for pressures (16.67 per 90) and the top 65% for npxG+xA (0.34 per 90).
It’s no wonder that Paqueta has been lauded as a potentially “huge signing” for Spurs in the past by journalist Pete O’Rourke, whilst the player himself has been dubbed “extraordinary” and “amazing” by his current OL boss Peter Bosz.
With statistical profile similarities to that of Kevin De Bruyne, Jude Bellingham and Thomas Muller, Tottenham would be foolish to not reconsider their interest in the box-to-box creator.
On the above evidence, he’s not just a far better talent than Zaniolo but one that would fit Conte’s system like a glove. He alongside Oliver Skipp or Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is a mouthwatering prospect and one that could fire Spurs one step closer to silverware this season.