In September last year, Lyon went 3–1 against Troy in Ligue 1. Lucas Paqueta had scored third, and in stoppage time, he attempted a ‘rainbow flick’ – taking the ball between his legs and flicking it over his head. Giulian Biancon.
Harmless, or so he thought. Paqueta was booked for lack of respect and a shocked Neymar took to Instagram to defend his Brazil teammate, saying the beautiful sport was dying if fun was banned.
Lucas Paqueta will bring a lot to West Ham after his £53million move from Lyon
The Brazil international’s stylish prowess is set to make him a hit among West Ham fans
Try it in the Premier League and Paqueta could find himself flattened, just as Richardson was after his keeper at Nottingham Forest.
But it is the 25-year-old’s stylish skill that West Ham are buying for a club-record £52.7million, a fee which includes £15.9m in bonuses.
There are YouTube videos dedicated to Paqueta’s nutmeg, his close ball control, his dances with defenders, his no-look passes, flicks and tricks.
David Moyes had closely watched him in the Europa League quarter-finals last season. It was Paqueta who dismissed Jarrod Bowen in front of the London Stadium technical area before the ball was put forward, a sequence that ended with Aaron Cresswell being red-carded. He is an idle out-of-seat playmaker who plays primarily as number 10, but can also be used as a midfielder, a withdrawn winger or false nine.
Paketta could face some tough challenges if he shows off his skills in the Premier League
While it is already being joked that, if he starts with Declan Rice, Baines Originals is bound to become a club sponsor, the prospect of a ‘Paqueta-Rice’ partnership is certainly very much for marketing executives. It would be tempting not to pounce.
Last season, Paqueta scored nine goals and six assists in 35 league games for Lyon. Prior to the season, he managed nine and five in 30.
They are not odd numbers and Moyes wants to make her more clinical so that her dance shows are seen more on these shores than in France.
But with his skills, Paqueta has all the earnings of a cult hero in wait, much like Dimitri Payette when he signed for Hammer seven years ago.
Lyon knows he is at a loss and club president Jean-Michel Aulas could not resist one last dig in the midst of his departure.
As rumors surfaced that Arsenal and Tottenham were interested in hijacking the deal, Aulas said he thought Paqueta would join a ‘big club’, adding that he had to ‘speak with West Ham at the last minute’. was forced to.
David Moyes aims to make Paqueta more clinical, but he has a lot in the way of quality
Moyes would laugh at the idea that he swooped in at the 11th hour, especially since Paketta was a name on his list at the start of the summer. The longer this dragged on, the more the manager lost hope.
You can understand why Moyes must have been most scared, but he doesn’t have to worry.
Quietly, West Ham have spent a considerable amount this summer. Paqueta is the headline purchase that takes its outlay to more than £150m, as the club looks to break into the top six of the Premier League.
Paqueta is a born entertainer. That ‘rainbow blow’ was not the only one against Troyes. He also tried it for AC Milan. Now, it’s England’s turn to see some samba showboating.
Born entertainer, it will be interesting to see if Paqueta tries his rainbow film in England.