Lucas Paqueta‘s eagerness to join Manchester City created a significant stir in the football world. He shared a heartfelt embrace with Pep Guardiola just before a match against the Cityzens, signaling his aspirations and intentions. This intriguing moment occurred just prior to Manchester City‘s 3-1 victory over West Ham United.
During the summer transfer window, Manchester City initially expressed interest in Lucas Paqueta but later shifted their focus to other targets. Their primary objective was to secure the services of Josko Gvardiol, a highly talented defender. Once that deal was successfully sealed, they redirected their attention toward strengthening their forward options. The departure of Riyad Mahrez had left a void on the right wing. With the possibility of Phil Foden transitioning to a central role, the acquisition of Lucas Paqueta became a logical move.
However, City‘s pursuit of another attacking midfielder in Lucas Paqueta raised questions and raised eyebrows in the footballing community. This potential signing suggested that Foden might revert to the flanks. This sparked debates about whether Lucas Paqueta represented a significant upgrade over the existing midfield options. Paqueta had a decent debut season at West Ham, contributing to their Europa Conference League triumph. However, his performances didn’t necessarily indicate that he was a top-tier fit for Manchester City.
Furthermore, the financial aspects of the deal came under scrutiny. Particularly given West Ham‘s desire to generate a substantial profit on their £55 million investment in Lucas Paqueta a year earlier. Manchester City‘s interest in Lucas Paqueta also waned when the Football Association (FA) launched an investigation. This was into potential betting rule violations involving the player. City chose to explore alternative signings, eventually securing the services of Jeremy Doku and Matheus Nunes.
Manchester City is Paqueta’s dream team
Despite the ongoing investigation, Paqueta‘s unwavering desire to join Guardiola‘s squad remains evident. Nevertheless, several factors now indicate that his window of opportunity may have closed. The duration of the FA investigation remains uncertain. If it is unresolved into the next transfer window, City may be hesitant to take a chance on the player. Furthermore, there may not be a clear role for Paqueta in the squad in the foreseeable future.
Manchester City has managed admirably without the injured Kevin De Bruyne. Julian Alvarez stepping up impressively in an attacking midfield role. Alvarez‘s stellar performances and contributions to City‘s goals have rendered him indispensable to Guardiola‘s plans. Players like De Bruyne, Foden, Mateo Kovacic, and Bernardo Silva also vying for similar roles. A substantial investment in Paqueta becomes increasingly challenging, especially if he doesn’t offer a distinct advantage over the current options.