With European football and a need for quality depth, Arsenal have been kicking the tires on more midfielders than we can count. Adding to the growing list today are rumors that Lyon attacking midfielder and Brazilian (shocking) international Lucas Paquetá is planning to leave the Ligue 1 club, with Arsenal interested in the 24 year old’s services.
Arsenal are interested in Lucas Paquetá. Edu Gaspar has already spoken to the player’s representatives that Arsenal will look to make an official offer for him, this window. Report, @thirfernandes and @simpraisa for @GoalBR.— Eduardo Hagn (@EduardoHagn) July 11, 2022
This is a transfer that is great in theory, and one that Arsenal fans would and should be excited about. Paquetá has been a proven entity for club and country for the last several years and has been one of the best midfielders in France since joining Lyon in 2020. He checks the right boxes and would be a great signing. But this rumor, to me, feels just too frivolous to make sense.
Arsenal badly needed depth for Martin Odegaard, which they secured with the transfer of Fabio Vieira this summer. Unless Arteta plans to change his midfield approach to “no defense, just vibes,” then adding another player whose skill set overlaps with Odegaard and Vieira and will expect guaranteed playing time is wasteful, especially when the defensive midfield depth is desperately wanting.
Another big cause for pause is Lyon’s reported asking price of €80 million for Paquetá, a spit-take sum. If Arsenal weren’t going to shell out that cash for Raphinha a few weeks ago in a position that is in more need of quality depth, then I can’t imagine they would go out and break the bank for a creative midfielder.
There are plenty of other midfielders Arsenal have been linked to that make more sense. Youri Tielemans is practically waiting by the phone with his bags packed for nearly half Lyon’s asking price. Ismael Bennacer could come home to his childhood club for a reasonable fee. And if Arsenal are intent on spending big for a midfielder, it’d be better spent on Sergej Milinkovic-Savic who would walk into the CDM spot and greatly improve the quality of the side overnight.
Arsenal have another problem if they want to make any more purchases - player sales! The Gunners have an abundance of bodies but a dearth of quality. Players like Lucas Torreira and Ainsley Maitland-Niles need to find new homes before Arsenal add more midfielders. Granit Xhaka, ever present, has been linked to a move away in the past. There also needs to be room for academy players like Charlie Patino to occupy for Europa League group stage matches.
This rumor is new, and could fade just as quickly as it emerged. Newcastle, who
beat Arsenal to signed Paquetá’s Lyon teammate Bruno Guimarães in January, are also reported to be interested. Now that they have obscene oil money, they will be linked to everyone, but a reunion for the two former teammates could be a big selling point.
Eh. A miss on this wouldn’t be the worst thing. But his transfer certainly wouldn’t hurt. Stay tuned as events update.