The Gunners are looking to add depth to their midfield this summer and after chasing players like Tielemans and Ruben Neves throughout the summer, Arsenal have now shifted their focus to Lucas Paqueta.
While Lyon are willing to cash in on the 24-year-old but as per the rumours, the French club are quoting an astronomical fee. The rumour mills suggest that OL are holding out for a fee of around €70-80 million.
— Arsenal TSN (@ArsenalTSN) July 13, 2022
Who is Lucas Paqueta?
Lucas Paqueta is an attacking midfielder by trade but the 24-year-old can also play as a central midfielder. He’s played close to 80 games for Lyon and is also a full-time Brazilian national, making his debut back in 2018.
He joined OL in the summer of 2020 from AC Milan and last season, he scored nine goals and provided six assists in 35 league games for the French club.
Tactically, he’s a very good link-up player and can hold his own in and around the opposition penalty area but at the same time, he is a very strong tackler and regularly helps out his defenders.
Will Arsenal give up on Youri Tielemans and shift their focus to Paqueta?
The Gunners have been chasing Youri Tielemans since the start of the campaign but they are nowhere close to signing him and many experts believe Arsenal will now put their entire focus on Lucas Paqueta.
However, according to CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs, Arsenal are much more likely to go after Tielemans than the Lyon midfielder, in the coming weeks.
“I understand that the Tielemans interest is still there,” Jacobs told 90Min‘s Talking Transfers podcast.
“I think that’s much more likely than Paqueta. He didn’t have a great season last season. But at that price, you’ve got to take a swing. Potentially £20 million is all you might be able to get him for including add-ons. And I think that suits Arsenal down to the ground.
“I think Tielemans will be a much better fit. And there is interest still there from Arsenal and I expect that one to get going in the next few weeks.”
It makes perfect sense that Arsenal will go after Youri Tielemans rather than Lucas Paqueta because the Leicester City midfielder is available in a cut-price deal.
Tielemans’ current deal expires next summer whereas Lucas Paqueta’s contract with Lyon expires in 2025 meaning the Ligue 1 club are in no hurry to offload him. While Lyon want €70-80 million for the Brazilian, Your Tielemans is available for around €25-30 million.
Above all, the Leicester man is tried and tested in the Premier League whereas Arsenal have bad memories of signing high-value players from the Ligue 1.