Gary Neville says Man City have done David Moyes a massive favour by creating an ‘aura’ around West Ham with Lucas Paqueta interest.
A deal had reportedly been agreed before the allegations – which Paqueta vehemently denies – emerged and any potential move to Man City collapsed, for now at least.
It meant Paqueta remained with West Ham. And it has not affected his form in any way with Paqueta imperious of late, helping West Ham beat Luton and maintain their unbeaten start to the season.
He did so with a brilliant assist and all round game – the kind of performance that would not have gone unnoticed by Pep Guardiola and Manchester CIty as they ponder what might have been.
Paqueta has grown in stature after a difficult start to life at West Ham and is now unplayable at times for the east Londoners.
The Man City bid was indicative of Paqueta’s form being recognised by those outside the West Ham sphere.
The Sky Sports pundit has been blown away by the Brazil ace. And he believes the bid from Man City has given Moyes, Paqueta and his teammates a new-found belief and self-confidence.
“What I think they’ve (Man City) done with Paqueta, they’ve established they’ve got an £80m player which has put an aura around Paqueta,” Neville said on Sky Sports.
“When Manchester City come in for you and bid that level of money and then obviously he stays because of an issue, you then think ‘hang on a minute we’ve got an £80m player in our team this season’.
“That’s probably to be fair made them feel so much better about having him. They knew he was a good player before. But when the best team in the world at this moment in time comes in for him, and he ends up in your team you think ‘wow we’ve got one hell of a player here’.
“And actually what they also have as a club is a player at the end of next season might be another £80m player (they can sell) which means they can refresh again.
“But for the time being just enjoy him. He’s so graceful on the ball. I love the way in which he paces the pass, he rolls passes into players, to the right side, away from the defender. He really is a good player. Look we knew he was a good player last season but it takes that bid from Man City to probably make us realise how good.”