The Scout Report: Lucas Moura

With Neymar joining Paris Saint-Germain for a world record £198 million from Barcelona last week, one of his compatriots has now been deemed surplus to requirements in the French capital.

Brazilian winger Lucas joined PSG in 2013 – beating Manchester United to his signature – and while he has performed well at the Parc de Princes, he has not been the world beating player many expected him to be.

With the arrival of Neymar, and Angel di Maria and Julian Draxler ahead of him in the pecking order, Lucas is likely to leave this summer with Unai Emery happy to let him go, which has reportedly roused the interest of Arsene Wenger and Arsenal.

According to the Brazilian media, Wenger could turn to Lucas as signing Monaco star Thomas Lemar seems increasingly unlikely with reigning Ligue 1 champions playing hard ball as they look to keep the attacker.

But what would Lucas bring to Arsenal?

The 24-year-old would provide quality cover for Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez in the creative role just behind the striker.

His pace and dribbling ability – demonstrated by his 60% successful take on rate last season – would cause defenders huge problems in a central area, driving with purpose at the heart of Premier League teams.

When he first burst on the scene, Lucas played centrally rather than out wide as he has for PSG. This could see him at his most devastating once again.

The Brazilian’s pace would also allow him to be an impact player from the bench, running past tired defenders with ease with his quick feet and silky samba skills. Although taking on players is his standout quality, his distribution in the final third is also good.

In 37 Ligue 1 appearances last season, he played 49 key passes and created 54 chances, with a pass completion of 83%.

These numbers may not be that impressive compared to other attackers at elite European clubs, but when looking at his key passes and chances created per 90 minutes, the stats are more impressive, with 1.82 key passes and 2.00 chances created.

Lucas is also an accurate shooter, with 55% shot accuracy last campaign.

The Brazilian had a productive season in front of goal, scoring 19 times and picking up 11 assists – including one against Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League – across 53 appearances in all competitions.

So things look good so far, but what are the negatives?

Consistency has always been an issue for Lucas, and this can be seen in his Ligue 1 record in 2016/17.

All the 24-year-old’s league goals came in three spells at the start, middle and end of the season, with large dry spells in between. It’s these dry spells that separate the good from the great, and that has definitely been the case for Lucas.

Many expected the former Sao Paulo man to have the kind of career that Neymar has had, but he has yet to reach the level of his new team mate.

This could be due to a lack of love at PSG. While he has always done fairly well in the French capital, he has never been a standout for the fans and always seemed to just be there, rather than being key to the clubs success.

This may seem harsh but he hasn’t been the player people thought he would be. A move away and a new challenge could be just what he needs to reignite a somewhat stalled career.

At 24, he still has his best years ahead of him and they could be just round the corner. Valued at £36 million by Transfermarkt, he could be available for a lot cheaper as money has never exactly been an issue for PSG, as they proved last week.

Arsenal would need to ship players out before buying Lucas, purely to make room for him rather than raising funds to bring in the Brazilian, with Wenger saying post Community Shield that he would not buy before players were sold.

We could have to wait a while for any move for Lucas to materialise and while I would be pleased to see the Brazilian in an Arsenal shirt, I would much prefer to see Thomas Lemar in one.

About the Author

Dan Mountney
Hi, I'm Dan and I'm currently studying Sports Journalism at the University for the Creative Art in Farnham, Surrey. I have supported Arsenal all my life and grew up watching arguably the greatest generation of players the club has ever had. I hope my love for the club comes across in my writing and that you enjoy what you've read from me!