With Hakan Calhanoglu and Suso both underperforming lately, AC Milan had to rush back into the market and find a new playmaker in Lucas Paqueta
A lack of offensive creativity has forced the fallen giants to intervene in the January transfer session. Well aware of the current situation in the squad, Leonardo looked back at his homeland, searching for a new South American prodigy.
The seven-time Champions League winners have secured the services of the highly-rated Brazilian attacking midfielder Lucas Paqueta. Established as one of the finest playmakers in Brazil, the 21-year-old attracted the interest from several notable European clubs.
Barcelona, Manchester United, and Arsenal have all tried to lure Paqueta away from the Maracana Stadium.
However, thanks to the mediation of Leonardo, the player eventually landed at the Malpensa Airport.
Brought in from Flamengo a couple of months ago for a reported fee of €35m, the skillful playmaker should make his debut quite soon.
The Milanese giants have already deposited his contract in Lega Serie A, and Paqueta should play his first match for the new club against Juventus in the Supercoppa Italiana.
Known in his homeland for an exquisite passing and shooting abilities, the left-footed starlet has scored ten goals and provided ten assists in 32 top-flight appearances for the Mengão last season.
Lucas Paqueta has an incredible technical ability that has caught the eye of Brazil national team coach Tite, who compared him with Neymar.1.8m tall, he is also dangerous in aerial duels, which makes him a ‘perfect modern midfielder.’
The freshly introduced Brazil international can cover multiple positions in the final third.
Due to his versatility, Paqueta can play as a left winger as well as an attacking midfielder and a central midfielder.
But, the ex-Flamengo man is expected to cover the role of ‘trequartista,’ something Milan lacked since the departures of Ricardo Kaka and Clarence Seedorf.
In the ideal scenario, he should be the one feeding Gonzalo Higuain and Patrick Cutrone upfront.
Still, faced with a brand new league, it would probably take some time for Paqueta to settle at San Siro.
The Rossoneri have a positive experience with Brazilian players. Cafu, Kaka, Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Robinho, and Ronaldinho are just some of the names that wore the red-black shirt in the past.
If he manages to adjust to the Italian style of football, the Rio de Janeiro native may be the one to help Milan return to their glory days.