Arsenal news: Lucas Paqueta started his professional career with his hometown club Flamengo FC before joining AC Milan in 2019.
However, he failed to make an impact at the San Siro and moved to Ligue 1 club, Lyon FC for £18 million in 2020.
The Brazil international has been in brilliant form since joining the French side, scoring 16 goals in 55 league appearances so far. His performances during his debut season for Lyon earned him a place in the UNFP Team of the Season 2020-21.
The Rio de Janeiro-born player is currently among the most sought-after midfielders in the world.
Arsenal news: Lucas Paqueta on the Gunners’ shortlist
According to reports, Arsenal have joined the race to sign Lyon FC midfielder Lucas Paqueta. The Gunners board sees Paqueta as a replacement for Granit Xhaka, who is reported to be a target for AS Roma.
Apart from the Gunners, Paris Saint-Germain and Newcastle United are other clubs that have shown interest in signing the Brazil international in recent weeks. He was also linked with a move to the Magpies during the winter transfer window. However, Paqueta reportedly rejected the Toons’ £180,000 offer as the club was engaged in a relegation battle at the time.
Meanwhile, Alexandre Lacazette could be heading in the opposite direction as the French club are interested in signing the striker.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has publicly expressed his interest in signing the Gunners no.9. He said: “We will do our best to sign Lacazette in June, We will make every effort possible for his return to Lyon.”
The French international is currently in the final year of his contract at the Emirates Stadium and could leave the club for free at the end of the season. However, Lyon needs to compete with a number of other top European clubs, who are keeping close tabs on Lacazette’s situation.
What will Lucas Paqueta bring to Arsenal?
The Brazillian international’s quality will be an upgrade for the Gunners midfield. Paqueta is known to play multiple positions across midfield and front. However, he plays his best football when deployed as a central midfielder.
His key strengths are his dribbling, passing, and tackling skills, while also being strong in the air. He averaged 1.2 key passes, 2.5 dribbles, and 1.8 tackles per 90 in Ligue 1 this season. Apart from that, he also contributed seven goals and four assists in the French top division so far.
Arsenal is currently in brilliant form in the league, winning eight of their last 10 fixtures. Courtesy of this, they have moved fourth in the league table with 48 points from 25 league games. They will next lock horns against Leicester City for a league game at the Emirates Stadium on March 13.