According to Sky Sports journalist Pete Graves, Newcastle United would move to sign Lyon star Lucas Paqueta if he fits the squad – and not just because he is good friends with Magpies star Bruno Guimaraes.
Newcastle have worked well to improve their squad since their new owners came in, and have been linked with a number of big players like Moussa Diaby, Victor Osimhen, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Paqueta.
While it is unclear whether they will bring any of these players in, Graves believes the latter could come into the squad if the club deem him a part of their future plans rather than solely for his friendship with current Newcastle key man Guimaraes.
He said on the Loaded Mag NUFC YouTube channel: “They’re not going to sign him just because he is Bruno’s mate, because that’s not how they’re working. They’ll sign him if they think he’s the right player for the squad.
“He’s undoubtedly a quality player. It’s not definitely a priority position, I don’t think, centre-midfield. It’s a romantic signing, of course, because he’s best pals with Bruno, who’s been absolutely sensational.
“For me, it’s not there at the moment.”
TIF Thoughts on Paqueta to Newcastle…
Last season, Paqueta showed his class for Lyon with 11 goals and seven assists across all competitions while averaging 2.5 shots, 1.3 key passes, 2.2 dribbles, 1.8 tackles and 1.4 long balls per game, with a 79.8% passing accuracy.
He also ranked in the 99th percentile for tackles, 91st for total shots, 94th for progressive passes received, and the 90th for passes attempted, showing that he is a versatile player in the midfield that can create and defend at a high level compared to others in his position within Europe’s top five leagues.
The new owners have made it clear that they plan for the cub to end up challenging for the Premier League under their ownership, and signing a player like Paqueta could yet help them get there. However, it is certainly wise of them to only move for the player if he fits their vision for the squad, rather than just caving in due to a friendship. The latter could end very badly for them.
Should Newcastle sign Paqueta?