How will Lucas Paquetá fit in at West Ham United?

The acquisition of Lyon playmaker Lucas Paquetá shows how far West Ham United have come in a short space of time. According to some reports, the Brazilian had offers on the table from elsewhere, but he chose to come to East London to add another dimension to the West Ham midfield. In previous seasons, the Hammers wouldn’t have been able to attract a player like Paquetá, but now, David Moyes’ side will be competing in Europe for the second consecutive season which is a huge pulling power. But following the addition of Paquetá to the West Ham squad, where could he play and how will he in fit in at the London Stadium?

Lucas Paquetá has joined West Ham United on a five-year deal with an option of a further year – Image courtesy of West Ham United

Paquetá joined Flamengo at the age of 10 and he made his debut for them in March 2016. The attacking midfielder made just under 75 appearances in Brazil before he started to attract interest from clubs in Europe. According to Transfermarkt, Paquetá was being monitored by Liverpool and AC Milan, and the latter secured his signature in the 2019 January transfer window. However, after only spending one and a half seasons at the San Siro, Paquetá joined French side Lyon for a fee in the region of £17m despite the Rossoneri paying near to double that for Paquetá’s services. He impressed at Lyon and last season, he was voted the best foreign player of the season in Ligue 1.

There was rumoured interest from Newcastle United and Arsenal amongst others but the Hammers stepped in to break their record transfer fee to sign Paquetá. According to FBref, the Brazilian put up some of the highest numbers in Ligue 1 last season and he is good defensively as well as going forward. He completed 23.2 pressures and 2.7 tackles per 90 showing that he is capable of partnering Declan Rice in central midfield instead of Tomáš Souček. Additionally, the Brazil international scored 0.25 non-penalty goals as well as attempting 53.8 passes per 90 with a pass completion rate of 81%.

The 25-year-old mainly plays as a central midfielder but he can also play higher up the pitch, as shown by his nine goals and six assists in Ligue 1 last campaign. It may take some time for Paquetá to settle in but he is certainly one of the most exciting additions the Hammers made this summer, alongside Maxwel Cornet and Gianluca Scamacca. He has made over 30 appearances for the Brazil national team and he could be in their starting midfield for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Souček has not started the season in the best vein of form and if the Czech’s performances do not improve, Paquetá could take his place.

In summary, Paquetá’s addition to the West Ham squad is a smart piece of business. Even though the Hammers spent a club record fee of £51m on the Brazil star, that amount could seem like a great investment in years to come. Additionally, this signing could prove to be the difference in if the Hammers reach the latter stages of the UEFA Europa Conference League or not. But what do you think of Paquetá’s signing and do you think £51m is a good fee for the Brazilian?


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