Arsenal: Journalist plays down Paqueta links and insists interest in long-term target stands

Image for Arsenal: Journalist plays down Paqueta links and insists interest in long-term target stands

Journalist Graeme Bailey has claimed that Arsenal are ‘more likely’ to sign Youri Tielemans than Lucas Paqueta this summer.

That is despite claims made last month by Sky Sports that the Gunners had cooled their interest in the Belgianafter the £34.2m acquisition of Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira.

The north Londoners have had a long-term interest in the Belgian, with his current deal at Leicester City expiring at the end of the season.

The club have also been linked with a move for Lyon’s Lucas Paqueta this week, with the Ligue 1 side seeking €80m (£67.5m) to trade the Brazilian, and despite reports of interest in the playmaker, Bailey is convinced Edu and his recruitment team won’t follow through with a deal due to the asking price and has instead reiterated the idea of Tielemans joining the club.

Speaking on the Talking Transfers podcast, he said: “I understand the Tielemans interest is still there. I think that’s much more likely than Paqueta.

“At that price, you’ve got to take a swing. Potentially, £20m is all that you might be able to get him for including add-ons; I think that suits Arsenal down to the ground.

“Tielemans is a better player than Partey, he’s better than Xhaka by a long way, and so I think Tielemans would be a great signing for Arsenal.”

TIF Thoughts on Tielemans and Arsenal…

Should Arsenal sign Youri Tielemans this summer?





While not as attack-minded as Paqueta when compared to the current midfielders at Mikel Arteta’s disposal, Tielemans averaged more tackles per game and also completed more dribbles than any player in the squad last term (WhoScored).

While his pass success rate wasn’t as high, he did make more key passes than all but two of the Emirates Stadium personnel and level with Granit Xhaka on 1.2 – the most of Arsenal’s midfielders.

At the end of March, The Telegraph revealed that the Foxes would be willing to accept a £25m fee for their midfield maestro, which isn’t too far removed from Bailey’s figures, and at such a cut-price sum, you would think the Gunners would be keen to follow that up.

Share this article