Lucas Paqueta was linked frequently with Newcastle United during 2022.
I thought it would be a dream to sign this summer, if Newcastle go all out and manage to sign him.
When it then emerged that Lucas Paqueta wanted to leave Lyon and the French club was ready to sell him, I thought the game continued.
Instead, it was West Ham who paid a club record £51m (including future add-ons) to sign the Brazilian attacking midfielder.
This was his post so far with the Hammers…
August 29 – West Ham Banners
August 31 – Comes as a 23-minute substitute – West Ham 1 Tottenham 1
Sept 3 – start – Chelsea 2 West Ham 1
Sept 8 – Comes as a 45-minute substitute – West Ham 3 FCSB 1
Sept 15 – start – Silkeborg 2 West Ham 3
Sep 18 – start – Everton 1 West Ham 0
Former Leeds striker Noel Whelan spoke to Football Insider about Lucas Paqueta after West Ham’s loss to Everton on Sunday:
Welcome to the Premier League, young man.
“You don’t have time on the ball, especially when you’re away at Everton – a team looking for their first win.
“It was always a hectic match, and that midfield area was a key area. It wasn’t the easiest game to throw him in. It was probably a game where you needed more experience.
“But when you’re looking to get points on the board like West Ham, and you’ve paid a lot of money for this player – he should get that opportunity.
“The spotlight on him is because of the money West Ham put in. There is no doubt he has quality, but this has been a really tough game to assert your authority over.
“You don’t get as much time on the ball in the Premier League as you do outside.”
West Ham have been under a lot of pressure and are in the relegation zone after losing five of their first seven matches in the Premier League.
Much of the attention from both the media and West Ham fans has been predictably directed at Lucas Paqueta, as you can see from Noel Whelan’s comments above.
Needing points on the board, signing a record, club/team under pressure, “must play”…
Let’s go back eight months ago in time.
Jan 30 – Newcastle United banners
Feb 8 – Comes in as a last-second substitute – Newcastle 3 Everton 1
Feb 13 – Sub-place for the last seconds – Newcastle 1 Aston Villa 0
Feb 19 – Comes as a last minute substitute – West Ham 1 Newcastle 1
Feb 26 – Comes on as a substitute in the last 26 minutes – Brentford 0 Newcastle 2
Mar 5 – Comes as a substitute for the last 11 minutes – Newcastle 2 Brighton 1
Mar 10 – start – Southampton 1 Newcastle 2
March 13 – start – Chelsea 1 Newcastle 0
Mar 17 – start – Everton 1 Newcastle 0
April 3 – Comes as a substitute for the last 31 minutes – Tottenham 5 Newcastle 1
April 8 – kick-off – Newcastle 1 Wolves 0
Noel Whelan talks about West Ham under pressure and Lucas Paqueta having to play, well, is that really true, if you have a manager who has the bottle to do the right thing for longer (and shorter)?
When Bruno Guimaraes arrived at Newcastle United for £41.65m (including future add-ons), it was what I would call real stress, when it comes to Eddie Howe and NUFC’s position at the time.
Eliminated from the domestic cup, including at home in the FA Cup to Cambridge, when Bruno signed, Newcastle looked certain to be relegated after just two wins in their first 21 Premier League games?
So obviously Eddie Howe put his new star in the team signature, right? As with David Moyes, who played two days after signing Lucas Paqueta, he played with him for 23 minutes in the Premier League against Tottenham, and just five days after signing he started against Chelsea.
Well, in his first month at Newcastle, Eddie played Bruno for five minutes or so in three short moves off the bench, despite Newcastle’s precarious situation. I remember very well how critics and journalists taunted Howe for not playing the club’s record signature. “Why do you pay all that money and then don’t play with him blah blah blah?”
It was actually less than six weeks, after five sub-games, when Eddie Howe debuted Bruno, an excellent start and a stunning heel-footed volleyball that won the NUFC game.
Bruno then had to wait another month to make his debut at St James’ Park, about ten weeks after signing, the midfielder starred in the 1-0 win over Wolverhampton.
Bruno Guimarães has been fantastic in his time so far at Newcastle United, but how much is that because of Eddie Howe?
Yes, Bruno starred in Ligue 1 and actually played for Brazil but there is still a huge leap from playing in Ligue 1 and then moving to the Premier League.
Lucas Paqueta has capped more than 30 caps for Brazil and has more CV than Bruno had. When he arrived at Newcastle, last season with Lyon, Paqueta had 18 direct goals – 11 goals and seven assists.
However, he threw him straight into the Premier League just days after his arrival, in a position of pressure. Is this really the best long and short term approach?
If a player, especially if he has a big financial signing from abroad, gets off to a poor start in the Premier League, we have often seen how that can lead to a total failure for all sides.
Back in January, Eddie Howe signed Bruno Guimarães and had a plan to take care of him and gradually integrate him, before launching him into the Premier League.
David Moyes might be wondering if he should be keeping a close eye on Bruno’s story at St James’ Park…
Nothing got me out of Lucas Paqueta, I still love him in St James’ Park.
Playing alongside teammate Bruno Guimarães under the intelligent management of Eddie Howe.