Chelsea defender Thiago Silva says he tried to push the club and Thomas Tuchel into signing fellow Brazilian Lucas Paqueta this summer.
Silva could well come up against Paqueta on Saturday when Chelsea host West Ham at Stamford Bridge. Paqueta arrived at the Hammers this week for a fee which could go in excess of £50m.
The 25-year-old became the club’s record signing and he was thrown into the action from the bench against Tottenham on Wednesday night. He replaced Said Benrahma on 66 minutes and added a spark to David Moyes’ attack. And he almost won late when he failed to connect with Vladimir Coufal’s ball in a mix-up with fellow sub Emerson Palmieri.
Arsenal and Newcastle were linked with Paqueta but West Ham showed persistence to finally get a deal over the line.
And Silva has revealed he urged Chelsea officials to look into a transfer for the former Lyon man.
“I heard he was about to leave Lyon [so] had some conversations here with some people, but unfortunately things didn’t work out,” Silva told ESPN Brazil, via the Evening Standard.
“We weren’t 100% sure he would leave Lyon.
“The last week arrived, this thing got a lot [clearer] and we had some other priorities because of the injuries we have in the team. So we needed a striker, another defender. A midfielder, was a little less. I think that’s why things didn’t evolve well.
“But I’m happy for Paqueta because West Ham certainly have a very good structure. It’s a great club in the Premier League scene.
Paqueta cameo ‘didn’t disappoint’
“I just hope he can be sad on Saturday. After that he can stay happy and get to the World Cup the way he knows. The way he’s been doing, which is playing good football.”
Paqueta looks like more than a useful addition to a West Ham side that have struggled to get off the mark.
His invention from central areas should be perfect to feed the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Antonio. And David Moyes is sure the long-term target will improve his side.
“We monitored him all summer,” said Moyes. “For most of the summer it didn’t look likely. It was great for us. We needed someone in the number 10 role who can create opportunities.
“He didn’t disappoint today in his short cameo. I’m looking forward to getting him trained and used to us and hopefully he can make a big difference.”
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