Tottenham Hotspur chief Fabio Paratici could secure the club’s best signing since Heung-min Son ahead of the summer transfer deadline on September 1st.
In recent weeks, the north London outfit have been heavily mooted with a move for Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta and he could help solve one of manager Antonio Conte’s biggest problems.
Spurs have long lacked a creative midfielder and considering the Italian’s system does not cater for a no.10, this player must be able to do box-to-box duties too.
Speaking about interest in the Brazil international, ever-reliable journalist Alasdair Gold said:
“Spurs have been tracking Lyon’s Brazil international Lucas Paqueta for a while. 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.
“He adds plenty of versatility and fits the idea of a more advanced Conte number 10 that can create out wide and would provide the Italian with two players in every position if he signed with Richarlison able to be used either up front or on either flank.
“There’s plenty of interest in Paqueta with Newcastle and Arsenal among those linked to him and again as I said below Spurs want to get players out of the door first before they can move for anyone on a big deal. The Brazilian’s price tag, with three years left on his contract, has gone all over the place this summer with talk of a £68m one to a lower £33m one in recent days but Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas is not a man to let anyone go on the cheap.”
Indeed, the 24-year-old has emerged as one of the standout midfield stars across Europe over the last year and as such, if Spurs were to secure him to plug that void in Conte’s squad, then he could make as big an impact as the South Korean sensation has made since his arrival from Leverkusen in 2015.
From a no.8 and no.10 role, Paqueta delivered ten goals and seven assists for Lyon across Ligue 1 and the Europa League last season, as per Transfermarkt.
But on top of that evident playmaking ability, the Brazilian ranked inside the top 1% of his positional peers across Europe for tackles (2.83 per 90) and the top 5% for pressures (23.36 per 90), via FBref, who have likened his statistical profile to that of Kevin De Bruyne, Jude Bellingham and Thomas Muller.
That level of quality has seen him dubbed as a potential “huge signing” for Spurs by journalist Pete O’Rourke, which only further reinforces the reasons behind why he’d be the best since Son.
For £33m, it seems like a no-brainer for Paratici and his recruitment staff.
On the above evidence, Paqueta can provide Spurs with a goal threat and some much-needed creativity from a deep-lying role, all without sacrificing the defensive work rate that Conte’s system is built upon.
With less than three weeks until deadline day, it’s time for the Lilywhites hierarchy to make their move. In Paqueta, Paratici could well secure Spurs’ best signing since Son.