Lucas Paquetá to Lyon – Would Milan Be Foolish to Let Him Go?

Lucas Paquetá has been outcasted by Stefano Pioli, and now Lyon are showing an interest in the midfielder. But would Milan be foolish to let him go?

The Brazilian arrived in Milan two years ago now. Joining from Flamengo, his arrivals excited a lot of fans, but two seasons on, and it looks as though the 23-year-old could be about to find a new home.

In 37 Serie A appearances for Milan, Paqueta has scored just once – he’s scored more goals for Brazil in that time that he has done for Milan.

He’s clearly a player with some potential, but why is it that he just can’t seem to fit in at Milan?

His 2018-19 season was less involved. He made just 13 Serie A appearances and scored his only goal for the club, but last season under Pioli, he became a more prominent member of the first-team.

Paquetá would often step in to cover injury. In fairness, he’s proved a very versatile player – he can play right across the attacking-three in midfield, whilst being able to play a more deep-lying role as well.

When he plays, he has that typically Brazilian flair. But last season felt as though when Paqueta was on the ball, everything had to go through him.

Whether it be attacking plays or direct shots on goal, Paqueta was almost forcing himself to be the main source of Milan’s play, and looking at the statistics, it didn’t work to great effect.

He featured 24 times in the league and failed to score. Nevertheless, the fans warmed to Paquetá. His work ethic on the pitch might have made up for his lack of goals, but the club is seemingly ready to offload him after just two years.

No clubs have so far been interested in the Brazilian, but now it’s being touted that Ligue 1 side Lyon are ready to hand Paquetá a fresh opportunity in France.

A fee between 20 and 25 million euros is being debated. That sounds like a lot for a midfielder who’s scored just once in the past two seasons, but a still a young player, and one who is regularly involved with the Brazilian national team – Paquetá could yet go far.

But he’s being discussed as a potential replacement for wantaway Lyon man Jeff Reine-Adelaide. The ex-Arsenal youngster is reportedly keen on leaving the club, and Rennes are preparing a 20M euro offer to relieve him of his Lyon duties.

Reports also claim that Lyon might be prepared to use Memphis Depay as part of the Paquetá deal.

The Dutchman looks all-but set for the exit this summer and is being heavily linked with a move to Barcelona – but could Lyon scupper that move, and send him on his way to Milan, with Paquetá coming the other way?

The Paquetá rumors have come about suddenly. Last season he proved a useful player, even if he didn’t score. But his game is about much more than scoring goals – he’s a connector, a player who links defense to attack and a young one at that.

For 20M euros, in this market, Milan might be better off holding onto Paquetá. They have plenty of midfield options but few as versatile as him. He’s featured in pre-season and scored a couple in Milan’s friendly win over Novara, but it might not be enough to convince Pioli to keep him.