Paulinho scored Spurs’ first goal as they came from 2-0 down to triumph 4-2 and generally had his best game since the home match against Stoke last season.
Indeed, the Brazilian was given a rating of 7.3 by our readers for his midweek performance, making him the man of the match ahead of the likes of Ben Davies and Andros Townsend.
With Tottenham short of midfielders following the injury to Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb away on international duty, they could certainly do with a resurgent Paulinho, but is it likely?
Since joining the club he’s shown flashes of what he can do. The aforementioned match against Stoke and the season closer against Aston Villa stand out, yet the former Corinithians man has failed to put together a run of form during his time at Spurs.
The low point of Paulinho’s Tottenham career came in the game against West Ham last season, when he and the equally flaky Emmanuel Adebayor parted like the Red Sea to allow a shot to fly through the wall and past Hugo Lloris. Spurs fans will forgive an under-achieving player if their attitude is right – see Roberto Soldado as way of reference – but it’s hard to back someone’s whose heart isn’t in it.
That’s why the cynic in me wonders whether Paulinho’s performance against Burnley has anything to do with the time of year. The January transfer window is wide open and he’s been heavily linked with a move to Serie A, with Juventus the reported favourites.
At this stage of Paulinho’s journey with Tottenham there seems to be no likelihood of redemption. As such, getting a few decent games out of him as he tries to win a move elsewhere, might be as good as it gets.