As the World Cup came to an end for Paulinho news broke of interest from Juventus, the Italian champions, in signing the Tottenham midfield player.
Paulinho’s miserable World Cup drew to a close when he was substituted in a three goal defeat to Holland as Brazil finished 4th in the tournament. It has been a difficult year for Paulinho who signed for Tottenham following the adulation in his own country after they won the Confederations Cup. This was seen by all in Brazil as the prelude to their country lifting the World Cup twelve months later.
Paulinho found it difficult to settle into the Premier League and to display his best form although through the season he did manage to score 8 goals from midfield. Despite his poor form with Spurs, he retained his place in the Brazil midfield as they prepared for the World Cup which was so important to all of the players.
At the World Cup Paulinho started in the team for his country’s group games but it was a disappointing competition for them and unfortunately Paulinho took his Spurs form to Brazil. He lost his place through the tournament as Brazil’s hopes of success ended in a humiliating defeat by Germany. The loss against Holland was just one match too many for the host nation.
With pre-season training started at Tottenham, Paulinho will be expected back at White Hart Lane in a few weeks time after a short break to rest and recover from the strains and stress of the past year.
Where will Paulinho be next season?
Chelsea had expressed interest in signing the Tottenham midfielder but today there is news of interest from Juventus, the Italian champions. The Sunday Telegraph reports that Juventus are looking to sign Paulinho as a replacement for the Chilean international Arturo Vidal who is thought to be heading to Manchester United.
Juventus are planning to offer Tottenham £20m for Paulinho who cost a then club record of £17 m when he joined Spurs last summer from Corinthians in Brazil.
Paulinho was clearly unhappy at White Hart Lane in the second half of last season when he was left out of the team by then manager Tim Sherwood. A regular in midfield under Andre Villas-Boas he lost his place through suspension and injury at the start of Sherwood’s time in charge.
When fit again, he was omitted in favour of the inexperienced Nabil Bentaleb. With the impending World Cup so much in his mind Paulinho was concerned that not playing would damage his chances of making it to the Finals with Brazil.
Paulinho needs the opportunity to show that he is a much better player than we saw in Brazil and than we saw at Tottenham last season. It was only in brief glimpses that we saw the form that had so excited everyone when he was signed last summer.
He played in a number of different roles last season but Paulinho needs to be given the chance by Mauricio Pochettino to settle into the team in a specific role to show whether he can cope with the pressure and competitiveness of the Premier League. With a new manager now at White Hart Lane it would be disappointing if Paulinho was dispensed with before being given another opportunity to prove himself.