Tottenham Hostpur have been dealt a blow in their bid to bring Lucas Paqueta to north London this summer.
That’s according to Dharmesh Sheth, with the Sky Sports reporter revealing in a recent post on Twitter that, despite both Spurs and Arsenal having been linked with a move for the Olympique Lyonnais attacking midfielder in recent weeks, it is West Ham United who now appear to be leading the race for the 24-year-old.
Indeed, the journalist goes on to claim that David Moyes’ side have submitted a €40m (£34m) offer for the Brazil international, with the player’s agents believed to be in London in order to push through a move prior to September’s transfer deadline.
In his tweet, Sheth said:
“West Ham United have made a bid worth €40m for Lyon midfielder Lucas Paqueta. The player’s agents are in London and want to conclude a deal with a Premier League club before the end of the window. Talks continuing between the clubs.”
Considering just how exciting a talent Paqueta undoubtedly is, coupled with attacking midfield being known to be an area of his squad that Conte wants to add greater depth, the argument that Paratici must launch a late bid in an attempt to steal the 24-year-old away from West Ham is an easy one to make.
Indeed, the £59m-rated midfielder is very much an all-rounder in the middle of the park, with Paqueta working extremely hard in a defensive capacity, being more than capable of making things happen with the ball at his feet and posing a real danger when in the final third – traits which are evident in the Brazilian’s metrics over the last 365 days.
Going forwards, FBref rank the £53k-per-week playmaker in the top 12% of attacking midfielder and wingers in Europe’s big five leagues and European competitions for shots per 90, as well as the top 14% for non-penalty xG, the top 18% for xG assisted – xG which follows a pass that assists a shot – and the top 27% for shot-creating actions over the last year.
In possession of the ball, FBref rank Paqueta in the top 11% for passes attempted per 90, in addition to the top 22% for passes completed, the top 16% for progressive passes, the top 16% for dribbles completed and the top 8% for progressive passes received over the last 12 months.
Finally, in a defensive capacity, FBref rank the 24-year-old in the top 5% for pressures per 90, as well as the top 1% for tackles, the top 11% for clearances, the top 10% for aerials won and the top 38% for blocks over the past 365 days.
Furthermore, with the player who Peter Bosz dubbed “extraordinary” also being able to operate from left, central, right and attacking midfield, as well as at centre-forward, Paqueta quite clearly possesses the versatility required in order to fit into Conte’s tactical setup at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
As such, while West Ham appear to be leading the race for the 33-cap international, it would seem highly advisable for Paratici to launch a move of his own for the Brazilian in the coming days – as Paqueta would appear to be something of a perfect fit for Conte’s new-look Tottenham side.