Milan: Lucas Paqueta is settling in at AC Milan and beginning to prove he is worth the hype.
While the Brazil international did not score in a 2-0 win at Genoa on Monday, he was at the heart of most of the Rossoneri’s good play and hit the woodwork.
Fabio Borini and Suso scored as Milan moved back into fourth spot in Serie A and the final Champions League qualifying berth.
“I was amazed by him [Paqueta], both on a physical and tactical level,” Borini said. “He likes to display his skills, but he’s very intelligent at the same time.”
Paqueta transferred to Milan from Flamengo this month for a reported 35 million euros and started in the Italian Cup and Super Cup.
The 21-year-old Paqueta made his Serie A debut on Monday and showed why Brazil coach Tite was enthused about his prodigious talent.
As well as providing opportunities for his new teammates, Paqueta had good movement off the ball and demonstrated a willingness to get stuck in.
He nearly scored a spectacular opener on the stroke of halftime but his long-range volley crashed off the left post.
However, he still has much to learn as was evident when his showboating almost cost Milan a goal.
Paqueta beat a defender with a remarkable flick but he then immediately gave the ball away to spark a Genoa counterattack which, fortunately for him, came to nothing.
“He can still improve, even if he’s already demonstrating his ability,” assistant Milan coach Luigi Riccio said. “He’s skilful, physical, fast, and can head a ball. He can do well.”