It was July when Spurs secured the services of the £17m Paulinho from Corinthians, but due to a combination of rest after the Confederations Cup and subsequent lack of fitness, the Brazilian box-to-box midfielder had to wait until Saturday to make his debut for the Lilywhites. And despite being off the pitch for over a month, the 25 year-old already began to demonstrate why he was a superb acquisition for Tottenham.
The Brazilian looked comfortable on the ball throughout his debut, instantly bringing an awareness of when he should play the simple pass across the midfield or when he should try to find the mazy runs of Roberto Soldado. Indeed, there were some strong indications that he was immediately building up a special partnership with the Spaniard, picking his runs and conducting one-twos when the frontman dropped deep or Paulinho surged forward.
But Paulinho clearly portrayed that he doesn’t just give the ball to team-mates who provide the attacking threat, no, he showed that he possesses a potent attacking threat as well. He had a header wrongly disallowed after just 6 minutes for offside; he also found himself among the last line of defense on multiple occasions. His job description is a box-to-box midfielder, and he demonstrated at White Hart Lane on Saturday that he epitomizes that role, with high energy, high technical ability, and a workhorse-like attitude throughout his appearance.
Although Paulinho’s efforts didn’t come to fruition on the night, he displayed a huge amount of promise considering it his first match in England, and Tottenham fans will be hopeful that he can build on his debut and demonstrate why Corinthians put a £17m price-tag on his shoulders.