CM: The background on Paqueta’s Milan exit and why the club have no regrets

By Oliver Fisher -

When Lucas Paqueta arrived at AC Milan in the winter transfer window of the 2018-19 season, many thought the club had bought a talent that would dazzle for years to come.

Paqueta was signed by Milan for just under €40m and high expectations came with that price tag. After a good start and a leading role under Gennaro Gattuso things slowly began to turn a bit sour, with Marco Giampaolo at one point accusing him of being ‘too Brazilian’.

From that point he was never able to make a huge impact and the Rossoneri eventually sold him to Lyon for €20m in 2020. Milan included a 15% resale clause (of profits) and that was a very smart decision in the end, as he exploded with Lyon before joining West Ham for €60m. have provided some background on Paqueta’s exit and more specifically why things didn’t work while at Milan. Firstly, he had problems adapting to a new life in Italy having left his homeland of Brazil at a young age.

Paqueta has admitted himself he felt ‘lonely’ after Leonardo – his compatriot and mentor – left for PSG, while the report goes on to mention that the playmaker’s style was not particularly conducive to Serie A either nor was it what Giampaolo was looking for. Milan, therefore, have no regrets about their decision to sell him.

Tags AC Milan Lucas Paqueta


  1. How can Milan not have regrets for selling Paqueta, when
    – they sold him to a loss of at least 40% a year after they spent almost 40 mil to sign him
    – they favored Hakan over Paqueta, who they allowed a year later to leave on a free transfer
    – they spent 35 mil on CDK to play in that position, who up to this point looks like the biggest transfer bust in Milan’s history. (Hopefully CDK turns it around)
    In the meantime Paqueta shined at Lyon, which allowed him a big money move to the EPL, and is currently starring for the Brazilian NT in the World Cup.
    L’s all over the place for Milan directors on this one

    1. Milan didn’t sell Paqueta at a loss. You need to understand amortization to realize Milan made a profit. We bought him for 35m on a 5 yr contract or 7m per year amortized. He played for 1.5 seasons with us or (7+3.5) 10.5m leaving 24.5m in the transfer fee to recoup. Lyon paid 20m for him with a 15% sell on fee in our favour and therefore 4.5m in the hole. West Ham paid more than 60m which leaves us with a tidy profit of around 6-8m.

      Paqueta didn’t suit our style then and doesn’t now. While he plays well for Brazil it’s likely due to the talent around him and country form can be vastly different from club form. Otherwise he only really shone for Lyon and that Ligue 1 level, West Ham seems to not be a good fit either for him.

      1. 😀😀
        Those are math gymnastics that clubs use to cook the books and tip toe around league and state regulations.
        Amortizations. They use that stuff just so they can show on the books at the end of the year less losses.
        If you paid 40 million but you sold it for 25 million with bonuses included a year and a half later, how is that not a 15 million loss? And how did Milan make a profit?
        Lyon made a profit to almost tripling their investment.
        And on Paqueta not suiting our style, does CDK style suit us?
        CDK is a literally taller, blond, less technical version of Paqueta. They both play from mezzala , to n10 to a false 9 and both are left footed

        1. That’s like saying that Milan was smart and saved money by letting Donnarumma, Hakan, Kessie, Romagnoli leave for free because if they resigned them it would have cost them this and that over a certain period of time
          But how about if they sold those players? Wouldn’t that counted as saving and making profit

          1. Regardless of the financial aspect it may have been a case of wrong time and place. Had Pioli had Paqueta he might have ended up being an asset. Instead we have Gattuso and then Giampaolo, the former who did not play with a trequartista/AMC and the latter who is just not a great coach it seems. So that’s that.

          2. @Vero Rossonero
            Pioli did have Paqueta. Matter fact, he had him longer than both Gattuso and Giampaolo.
            Paqueta was great in his first 6 months as a Milan player under Gattuso playing as a mezzala.
            Things went south with Giampaolo and then with Pioli who liked using Hakan more than Paqueta. And in Pioli’s defense Hakan did play very good after the covid break. That was probably the best he had played in his career.
            Maybe Paqueta could have been tried more on the right, playing the Saelemaekers hybrid wing role

          3. @20&8. You are right. Not sure how I overlooked that. Maybe because he was such a non-factor by then having taken a backseat to Calhanoglu. I do think that perhaps we gave up on Paqueta a little too soon, but at the same time the 20m he brought in seems like was were crucial in helping us balance the books that season. Perhaps our hand was slightly forced.

        2. Haha, how does being blond having anything to do with his abilities? How many years did it take for leao to blossom ..3 miserable years.

        3. @Poli, you have absolutely no clue about how accounting works. Just because you don’t understand either accounting or math, doesn’t mean everyone else doesn’t or that it’s some sort of made up magic. Virtually all clubs use amortization of players fees. It’s a way to spread and reduce costs over time due to inflation. It’s not illegal to use, is a valid costing technique and is quite transparent. It’s literally how almost ALL businesses function not just clubs 😂. Please do tell us which state or league regulation we’re avoiding? 😂😂😂

          Think about buying a car for 40k and have the payments spread out over 5 years and it’s virtually the same thing. After 2 years you still owe the bank 24k (40-8-8). But if you sell the car for 28, guess what? You’ve made money (4k) from the value at the time of selling while having 2 years worth of having the car. What you’re doing is not counting us paying the portion of Paqueta’s services for the 1.5years and that is relevant. You’re just looking in terms of gross up front costs but players fees are amortized.
          Donnarumma, Hakan, Kessie and Romag are totally different from Paqueta which was a sale. But if u want I could explain how letting those players go can influence our budget and cost of borrowing. And I’ll throw in why Galliani extended Thiago Silva’s contract at a high amount before selling him

          1. The math is simple. 25 is less than 40.
            You are comparing a car, a depreciating asset, with a 21 -year old footballer.
            A car value is supposed to go down from purchase to sale. But the amortization of the car, driving it every day to work, brings you value by allowing you to go to work every day and making money.
            A 21-year footballer value shouldn’t depreciate over 18 months span, should either stay the same or go higher.
            Paqueta value didn’t depreciate because of amortization, (use) like the car, but because of being unproductive even though getting payed. So Milan not only didn’t get value for the money they paid him in salary , but also they didn’t get value from his sale, compared to his purchase.
            Clubs spread out the cost of the transfer fees over several fiscal year, so the books look better from year to year. But that’s all kicking the can down the road. It’s no coincidence that 90% of the clubs are in substantial debt.
            They don’t save or make money with tha. Alll they do is cutting and spreading losses over several years.
            Lyon made money on Paqueta.
            Milan cut their LOSSES by his sale.
            That whole operation was a failure that costed Milan.

  2. As an Acmilan fan , who’s like to watch Brazil playing, I don’t see anything in Paqueta to make Acmilan regret, maybe the money.
    Not a player who has one good game, three or four bad ones after.

  3. Honestly, at that time our managers were bad, and paqueta was very bad too. All the fans wanted him to go, club wanted him to go, and the player himself wanted to go too.

    I think this was resulted from poor management from new owners back then. Changing managers like changing underwear. Everytime owner changes, the formation and playstyle changes too. Thats why its important to give full support to pioli

  4. It was best for all parties that he left.
    I remember when he was signed, Gattuso played him as LCM in a 4-3-3 with Biglia/Bennacer and Kessie, he also played there when Gattuso played with a 4-4-2, and even Paqueta didn’t hide it by saying that LCM is his preferred position, he had a few glimpse of class, just hadn’t hit top form yet.

    But Paqueta’s problems really kicked in when Gattuso left, I think it was Giampaolo who viewed him to play more forward as an AM with Suso. I remember a top coach, either Capelo or Ericsson hated the idea, and suggested that Paqueta be played as a CM and not an AM because his game requires space for him to run into from the midfield.

    I think the coaches we had after Gattuso never really played with LCMs, they played more with either one or double pivot (more like DMs), and then with more Left or Right or Central Attacking Midfielders.

    So he left, good for all.
    I must say, now watching him play, he’s a good player, playing in the Central Midfield position which he prefers, but nothing special.

    I agree with Oliver Fisher, we have no regrets.

  5. The day he flipped a ball over an opponents head back into our own half, then lost the ball, leading to a fast counter attack i knew he would not last. Capello criticized him after the game, that he was show boating unnecessarily and was not technically disciplined. That was no lie. He may shine a lyon but i have no regrets. Piateks departure pained me more cos i loved his work rate and those 2 goals against napoli.

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