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Arsenal’s £34million transfer blow could be a blessing in disguise for Mikel Arteta

Although Lucas Paqueta appears to be slipping away from Arsenal, there is no need for the Gunners to lick their wounds for too long.

West Ham are in pole position to sign the Brazilian playmaker from Lyon and have submitted a €40million (£34m) offer to try and get the deal over the line before the summer transfer window deadline on 1 September.

Irons manager David Moyes confirmed his side have tabled a bid during his press conference on Wednesday and highlighted the variety of roles Paqueta can flourish in.

“He can play as a number 10, an eight, and he plays as a false-nine for Brazil quite often. I think his pedigree is really good,” Moyes said.

“Pedigree doesn’t always guarantee that it works, but you would hope that it helps towards him possibly getting better.”

If Moyes’ verdict is anything to go by, then Arsenal will be bitterly disappointed to have missed out on a player they have been linked with for much of the summer.

The North London club are understood to be on the hunt for a new option in central midfield after offloading Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi.

However, it is easy to forget the wealth of quality options at Mikel Arteta’s disposal in the centre of the park. Fabio Vieira and Oleksandr Zinchenko arrived at the Emirates this summer to bolster the Spaniard’s midfield ranks, even though the latter has been used as a left-back to great effect so far this season.

The duo join Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey and Albert Sambi Lokonga as players who can perform to a high level in the engine room, while another quality player some fans may have forgotten about is Mohamed Elneny.

The Egyptian has struggled for consistency and game time throughout many of his six years on the club’s books but proved his worth towards the end of last season.

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