For a brief moment, Paulinho became our record signing when he joined Spurs from Corinthians for around £17m on the 06th of July last year. In doing so, he was the first of the less than magnificent seven new signings but with 2013-14 finally at an end, how do we view the Brazilian’s first season in the Premier League?
It’s not been a completely smooth transition into English football and predictably, the player himself has talked about the need to adapt to the fast pace and the physical nature of the game in the Premier League. Back in April, he also said he was unhappy about being left out of the side.
“I always want to play,” Paulinho said. “I understand the team rotation because that’s how it works here, but I am not feeling well or comfortable. I want to be present, I want to play.”
At the time, Tim Sherwood responded by saying that he didn’t pick players to please the Brazilian national set up and the former Head Coach hinted that the player may have lacked a little fight.
When he has performed, supporters have been critical of his body language and while that may not quite be in the Jan Vertonghen class, questions of commitment were raised even further when he helped to part the waves for Stewart Downing’s free kick at Upton Park – this article on ESPN sums up that view perfectly.
On the flip side, Paulinho does score important goals and while a record of eight in 37 games isn’t the worst, the midfielder keeps getting in great positions and he could have easily doubled that. Next year under a top coach, the Brazilian has the potential to replicate his national form on the domestic stage and there’s no reason why he can’t provide a more than useful 15 goals a season.
However, he could be doing that for another club and if we were to assume that rumours of a big money move to Chelsea were true, would you just take the money or should Paulinho become an important part of the squad under a new manager?