Arsenal hasn’t signed a central midfielder yet this summer, even though they need one badly compared to some of the other positions on the field.
Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal, is close to letting Lyon star Lucas Paqueta go to West Ham without much of a fight. This is likely to upset Gunners legend Thierry Henry.
During the summer, a number of Premier League clubs were very interested in Paqueta, but Arsenal was by far the most talked about club that could be interested in the midfielder. The fact that Paqueta is from Brazil only added to the rumours, since the Gunners seem to be building a South American team at the Emirates.
Edu, the technical director of the club and a fellow Brazilian, talked about Paqueta earlier this summer. He told TNT Sports Brasil, “When I talk about Lucas, I do it with a lot of respect.” I’m a guy who has always liked him, even when I was on Brazil’s national team. He had a great season and was thought to be the best player from outside of France in the French league.
Edu used to play on the same team as Henry, and he agrees with him about Paqueta. Late last year, Arsenal’s all-time leading scorer spoke highly of the player to Amazon Prime Video via Foot Radio. He said, “It’s early, but frankly, what he’s doing is great. We talked about it after his match at the Parc des Princes [against Paris Saint-Germain].”
He went on, “Yes, I like dribbling and blind passes, but what I really like about him is his drive, his activity, his willingness to help others, and his dedication.” In general, not all Brazilians are like this. When a player is doing well, he or she is harder to replace or is less useful to the team when they don’t have the ball.
“This player impresses me because he does both with a smile. He uses a smile to both defend and attack. This is why, in my opinion, he is already one of the best players in the championship.
Even though the Gunners are known as one of the best teams on the continent, they didn’t have much to offer Paqueta in the race for his signature. They look likely to lose him to one of their London rivals, West Ham. The team led by David Moyes is willing to pay £40 million to bring Paqueta to the London Stadium.
So far this summer, Arteta has been in charge of five important transfers, but none of them have been a central midfielder to replace Granit Xhaka or Thomas Partey.
With a week left in the transfer window, there aren’t many rumours that the Gunners will bring one in. Instead, they are focusing on getting another winger. Pedro Neto, a wide player for Wolves, is thought to be the top target for the last push.