Arsenal have yet to sign a central midfielder this summer, despite a surprising lack of depth in that area compared to some other positions on the pitch.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is on the verge of letting Lyon star Lucas Paqueta join West Ham without much of a fight – likely to the dismay of Gunners legend Thierry Henry.
Paqueta was the subject of intense interest from a number of Premier League clubs over the summer and Arsenal was undoubtedly the biggest name associated with a move for the midfielder. The fact that Paqueta is Brazilian has only fueled the rumors, as the South American contingent the Gunners seem to be building in the Emirates.
The club’s technical director and fellow Brazilian Edu discussed Paqueta earlier this summer and told TNT Sports Brasil: “I am very respectful when I talk about Lucas. I am a man who loves him very much, I have always liked him , since my time with the Brazil national team. He had a great season, he was considered the best [overseas] player in the French league.”Read:Cambridge United 1-0 Ipswich Town: Kyle Edwards sent off
Edu is a former teammate of Henry, who reflects his feelings when it comes to Paqueta. Speaking to Amazon Prime Video, via Foot Radio, late last year, Arsenal’s record scorer gave a glowing review of the player when he said: “It’s early but honestly what he’s doing… we talked about it after his game. in the Parc des Prinsen [against Paris Saint-Germain].”
He continued: “Yes, I like dribbling and blind passes, but what I like is his desire, his activity, his selflessness, his dedication. In general, this is not the case with all Brazilians. A player who is fine is a little harder to replace or he is less of a service to the team if he doesn’t have the ball.
“What strikes me about this player is that he does both with a smile. He defends and attacks with a smile. For me that is why we can already speak of one of the best players in the championship.”Read:Man Utd frustrated by Casemiro ‘issues’ as Erik ten Hag’s unveiling plan left in tatters | Football | Sport
GIVE YOUR OPINION! Should Arsenal have made more effort to sign Paqueta? Leave your comment below!
Despite being billed as one of the best on the continent, the Gunners couldn’t bid much in the race for Paqueta’s signature and are on course to miss him for one of their London rivals, namely West Ham. David Moyes side is poised to part ways with £40million to lure Paqueta to London Stadium.
Arteta has managed five notable transfers so far this summer, but none have come in the form of a central midfielder to replace Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey.
With a week to go before the transfer window, few reports suggest The Gunners will land one – instead turning their attention to adding a new winger to their ranks. Wolves wide-man Pedro Neto is considered the priority target for the final push.