Brazilian midfielder, Lucas Paquetá, has blown away the notion of an adaption period needed for the European game by being a key part of Milan’s resurgence
Lucas Paquetá was seen as one of the hottest talents in Brazil for some time, and was linked to a whole host of European clubs, such as Liverpool. But it is Serie A side Milan that won the race for his signing in the winter window. The 21-year-old has been sensational in the Italian league so far, having already scored a goal and provided an assist.
But it is not the Brazilian’s goalscoring stats that have helped him win the affection of the fans, but rather his amazing technique, ball control, vision and high work-rate. Lucas is capable of operating almost anywhere in midfield.
Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso revealed right after Paquetá’s arrival that the player is ready to be a starter because he is tactically very mature for someone his age. The Rossoneri manager would then decide that Lucas would ply his trade as the second deepest midfielder.
Paquetá would be expected to help shield the backline by making ball recoveries and retrieving possession, as well as receiving the ball in a deep positions and carrying it forward, whether via passing combinations and one-two plays, which he excels at, or by relying on his dribbling technique to to get past his marker and move the ball simultaneously.
Lucas Paquetá is not the fastest midfielder that football has ever seen. But he makes up for it with his sublime technique and physique, that help him maintain possession when under pressure, by shielding the ball or coming out with a brilliant bit of skill from nowhere.
The Brazilian does bring this surprise factor to the table, which has turned out to be greatly beneficial for the team. With ten games as starter, Milan have won six, drawn three and lost once against the almighty Juventus side, led by Cristiano Ronaldo.
It only gets more interesting for Milan fans when the rising duo of Paquetá and Krzysztof Piatek is mentioned. The Brazilian midfield and the Polish striker are slowly forming a dominant, rising, young duo that could be said to become one of the very best in Italy, if not Europe. Many are already dreaming of seeing the reincarnation of Kaká and Sheva within these two.
It is always worth reminding that AC Milan has historically been a great destination for Brazilians coming from South America, or even making the move in a later stage in their career. The examples are many, from Dida, Serginho and Cafu, to Kaká, Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato.
Lucas Paquetá is exactly what Milan’s midfield needed, but has everything to simultaneously offer a great addition to the Seleção’s midfield. Brazil’s national team was crying for someone with such characteristics for Russia’s FIFA World Cup. There is always hope for the Brazil fans, with Copa América on the horizon and with manager Tite seemingly open to make the right changes and inject new blood.