Alasdair Gold has claimed Lyon’s Lucas Paqueta fits the bill for the kind of versatile attacking midfielder that Antonio Conte is on the lookout for this summer.
Reports over the last few weeks have indicated that even though Tottenham are prioritising selling the players who are surplus to requirement, the club are still on the lookout for another creative playmaker (Evening Standard).
It seemed like Nicolo Zaniolo was the player that the Tottenham hierarchy were going after, with Conte alleged to be ‘crazy’ about singing the 23-year-old (CalcioMercato).
However, it has emerged over recent days that the player might stay put at the Stadio Olimpico for another season (Corriere dello Sport).
L’Equipe reported last month that Paqueta is another option on Tottenham’s radar and that the Brazilian had expressed a desire to leave Lyon this summer.
Gold has revealed Spurs have monitored the 24-year-old but added that the North London club would face competition from Premier League rivals for the attacking midfielder and questioned whether the player himself would accept a bit-part role at N17.
When asked in a Q&A on Football.London if there is an update on Tottenham’s interest in Paqueta, the journalist responded: “Spurs have been tracking Lyon’s Brazil international Lucas Paqueta for a while.
“The versatile 24-year-old can play in an attacking midfield role, centrally or on the right and can also play up front when required. He netted 11 goals and laid on seven assists in a Lyon side that struggled at times last season.
“He adds plenty of versatility and fits the idea of a more advanced Conte number 10 that can create out wide and would provide the Italian with two players in every position if he signed with Richarlison able to be used either upfront or on either flank.
“There’s plenty of interest in Paqueta with Newcastle and Arsenal among those linked to him and again as I said below Spurs want to get players out of the door first before they can move for anyone on a big deal.
“The Brazilian’s price tag, with three years left on his contract, has gone all over the place this summer with talk of a £68m one to a lower £33m one in recent days but Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas is not a man to let anyone go on the cheap.
“I just wonder whether if Paqueta were to leave the Ligue 1 side this summer than he would want to go somewhere he can start every week rather than a club like Spurs were the competition now for those attacking spots is intense.
“Conte has raised the standards in N17 and even the bench this week against Chelsea is going to be jam-packed with stars and many who can’t even get into the matchday squad.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Despite all the talk of Conte building a strong squad and not having a clear first choice 11, the fact remains that some players are far more likely to feature regularly than others over the course of the campaign.
Any attacking midfielder that we sign, unless it is a potential world-class talent like Maddison or Zaniolo, will likely be restricted to a bit-part role as Conte has not really shown a willingness to shift to a 3-5-2.
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