Who is Lucas Paqueta? Leonardo bringing Brazilian magic back to AC Milan

AC Milan are reportedly on the verge of securing the signing of Lucas Paqueta from Flamengo, and expectations will be high given the history created at the club by his compatriots.

The 21-year-old has caught the eye of several European giants with his form in his homeland, bagging nine goals and four assists in 31 appearances this season.

As per Sky Sport Italia, he is expected to join in a deal worth €35m plus bonuses in January, with that fee ensuring that he becomes the most expensive player from Brazil to move to Italy, surpassing the €29.5m spent by Inter on Gabriel Barbosa.

So what can the Brazilian starlet offer Milan? As seen in the video below, it would appear as though he will add more quality and depth in midfield, perhaps predominantly as an alternative to Giacomo Bonaventura.

It’s an area of the squad that should of been addressed some time ago, but Milan are seemingly convinced that they’ve found the necessary solution, and Paqueta offers a long-term answer provided he repays the faith shown in him from the Rossoneri, should the deal be completed as expected.

From his technical quality in possession, to his vision and distribution to keep things ticking in midfield and move the ball forward quickly to start attacks, he looks like a promising talent for his age.

Importantly though, there looks to be substance behind the flair too as he isn’t scared to do the dirty work defensively and get tackles in while tracking back.

Naturally, the true test will come in terms of his ability to adjust and adapt to the Italian game, and continuing to develop and improve as he matures with more experience and playing time.

Another aspect he’ll have to deal with should he arrive at the San Siro, is the pressure that will come with the history that the club has with Brazilian players. Aside from the fact that he has previously stated Kaka is his idol, he will become the 35th Brazilian to play for Milan, and he’ll be expected to live up to the hype and follow in the footsteps of the likes of Kaka, Alexandre Pato, Thiago Silva, Cafu, Serginho, Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho.

The video below offers fascinating in-depth insight into what Paqueta offers for Flamengo, and it’s easy to see how he fits into Milan’s line-up, albeit more so as an offensive midfielder on the left or right of the trio to offer more of an attacking threat and quality on the ball.

Coupled with the style of play that Gennaro Gattuso has adopted so far this season, it seems like a dream fit. With that in mind, there should be confidence that this is a strong addition provided that it’s officially announced in the coming days.

Paqueta addresses a key weakness in the Milan squad, will continue a proud tradition of a Brazilian presence in the team and has a bright future ahead of him to prove that sporting director Leonardo was right to take what is arguably still quite a gamble on him given his price-tag.

He seems convinced that this is the right signing for the club though, and with Paqueta affectionately referred to as the ‘Wizard’ of Flamengo, the youngster could be set to bring back some Brazilian magic at Milan…

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