West Ham United announced on the official website last night that the club has signed the Brazi international attacking midfielder Lucas Paquetá from Lyon.
According to the official statement of West Ham United, Paquetá signed on a 5 year long deal until the summer of 2027, with an option for a further year. Paquetá will be wearing the vacated No. 11 shirt after Czech player Nikola Vlašić left the club on loan.
In addition, according to renowned Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, the total fee of Paquetá’s transfer could reach €60million, of which €43million is the initial fixed fee, plus another €17million of add-ons, effectively making the Brazilian the club’s record signing in the Hammers history. As part of Paquetá’s transfer, the player’s former club AC Milan will also receive a 15% sell-on fee.
Paquetá officially became the 8th acquistion for West Ham in this summer transfer window following the arrivals of Flynn Downes, Alphonse Areola, Thilo Kehrer, Nayef Aguerd, Gianlucca Scamacca, Maxwell Cornet and Emerson Palmieri.
25 year-old Paquetá was born on August 27, 1997 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, having dual nationality of Brazil and Portugal. He is 1.8 meters tall and primarily plays as an attacking midfielder. He could also play as a left-winger or center forward. Paquetá’s older brother Matheus is also a professional footballer. Paquetá joined Flamengo’s youth system at the age of 10, and won the Copa São Paulo de Júniores title, the most important youth tournament in Brazil, with the youth team during the period. Paquetá officially completed his first team debut in March 2016. Ever since his debut, his technical ability has been compared with Kaká, Ronaldinho, and Phillippe Coutinho.
After the a breakout season in 2018, Paquetá joined AC Milan for €35million in January of the following year, but because he failed to replicate his form at the San Siro, Paquetá’s transfer has been ridiculed by Italian pundits and media for being ‘someone who have lots of flair, but no end product’.
In 2020, Paquetá joined Lyon at a cut price fee of €20 million. After coming to the Groupama Stadium, Paquetá’s performances and form not only returned to the original state that people see during his Flamengo days, but that it has also gradually improved dramatically as he formed a great understanding with his partner Houssem Aouar.
Last season, Paquetá made 44 appearances in all competitions for Lyon, scoring 11 goals and assisting 7 times. He was also selected as Ligue 1‘s Foreign Player of the Year ahead of Marquinhos, Jonathan David and Renato Sanches.
Internationally, Paquetá has started playing for the Brazilian senior national team since 2018. He is also a member of the Seleção squad who have won the Copa América in 2019. So far, Paquetá has been capped 33 times for Brazil in all competitions, scoring 7 goals and assisting once.
Paquetá was constrantly linked with a move to the Premier League throughout this summer, most especially joining a London based club but these rumours have always been inconcrete.
Media has always speculated that Arsenal is the club who wanted to sign Paquetá the most, head coach Mikel Arteta was often cited as Paquetá’s biggest admirer and he also hoped that he could bring him to the Emirates Stadium to partner club captain Martin Ødegaard.
Recently, some Italian outlet also specualted that in order to challenge the Gunners, Tottenham Hotspur‘s Director of football Fabio Paratici and head coach Antonio Conte were also planning to sign Paquetá.