José Paulo Bezerra Maciel Junior – or Paulinho to those who have seen the 24 year old Brazilian midfielder play, has seemingly completed his desired move to Tottenham Hotspur. With the appointment of technical director Franco Baldini and Andre Villas-Boas pledging his future to Spurs, the transfer of Paulinho from Corinthians seems to have sped up in the last few days with both The Telegraph and the Daily Mail reporting that the Brazilian midfielder is poised to move to White Hart Lane in a matter of weeks for the fee agreed – but what do Spurs see in the midfielder?
Paulinho is namely a box-to-box midfielder, but like most Brazilians, has the flair and technical ability to go forward to both score and assist to help his club team Corinthians and national team, Brazil.
This was shown during the friendly versus England in early June, where his powerful bursts from midfield was complimented with a fine goal in the last ten minutes against Roy Hodgson’s men.
The 24-year old Brazilian midfielder also managed to get on the scoresheet in Brazil’s opening Confederations Cup game versus Japan, with a close range finish.
The versatility that Paulinho possesses is what Andre Villas-Boas wants in his Spurs team for the 2013/2014 season, as he looks to revert to the 4-3-3 system that brought him great success for FC Porto in his 2010/2011 season with the Portuguese club, with which he achieved a historic treble.
Spurs have not seemed able to rely upon the pairing of Scott Parker and Mousa Dembele in midfield after Sandro injured his knee against QPR in January. The acquisition of Paulinho could see AVB switch to a 4-3-3 lineup, playing Sandro as the holding midfielder and Paulinho helping out with defensive duties while also possessing the ability to move forward, but also Mousa Dembele or Lewis Holtby look to be the creative component completing that midfield trio.
It seems that Andre Villas-Boas will be getting two players for the price of one, as Paulinho is comfortable playing both as a defensive and attacking component of the midfield – his 34 goals in 167 appearances signifies this.
Another key factor in this signing is his ability to shine in the big games, after showing impressive performances in the FIFA Club World Cup with Corinthians, beating Chelsea in the final and in the Copa Libertadores in 2012 with two goals in eight games from midfield. The 24-year old also managed to grab eights goals and three assists in the Brazilian league.
Spurs have triumphed over bigger clubs with this signing with Internazionale and Shakhtar Donetsk reportedly interested in the Corinthians midfielder in the past. At £17m they have found a bargain for a player who possesses a range of abilities from creativity, mobility, physicality, versatility and grabbing the goals. Fans of White Hart Lane will be looking forward to the season ahead and their Europa League campaign, and Paulinho will hopefully prove that the buzz around him the last few weeks was definitely worth creating.