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Does Signing Paulinho Allow Andre Villas-Boas to Play 4-3-3 at Spurs?

FORTALEZA, BRAZIL - JUNE 19:   Francisco Javier Rodriguez of Mexico challenges Paulinho of Brazil during the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Group A match between Brazil and Mexico at Castelao on June 19, 2013 in Fortaleza, Brazil.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images
Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJune 25, 2013

Corinthians midfielder Paulinho is all set to join Tottenham Hotspur, according to David Kent of The Daily Mail.

The transfer, which would take place upon completion of the 2013 Confederations Cup, would apparently be a dream move for the Brazilian, who wants to test himself as a player at the highest level:

"It’s a great pleasure to be linked to such a great club like Tottenham," the Pao de Acuca youth product states.

"They have a reputation as one of the great clubs in England who play exciting, attacking football which suits my style."

Corinthians director Edu has already confirmed to UOL, via Sky Sports, that talks are well under way and there are only a few minor details to be sorted. The fee will be approximately £15 million.

Midfield depth was something Andre Villas-Boas struggled with last season, as once Mousa Dembele went down injured, the club failed to replace his creative touch.

Scott Parker's sideways passes just weren't doing it for the crowd, Sandro sustained a serious knee ailment and Tom Huddlestone blew hot and cold.

AVB wisely switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation at White Hart Lane after failing to install his beloved 4-3-3 at Chelsea. What worked at FC Porto didn't at Stamford Bridge, and the Portuguese learnt his lesson and adapted to fit the team he inherited this time.

While Paulinho would provide immense depth and competition in a 4-2-3-1, should AVB wish to field the Brazilian, Dembele and Sandro at once (and he should), then a 4-3-3 is the right way to go.

Spurs house quick central defenders in Steven Caulker, Jan Vertonghen and Younes Kaboul, and all three could play the high line John Terry so dramatically failed to lead in 2011-12.

Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale are perfect options in the wide areas, and their ability to swap would suit AVB's penchant for an inverted winger.

It would just leave the striker's position to fill, while Gylfi Sigurdsson would get more of a look-in at the position he excelled in at Swansea City on loan—central midfield. Lewis Holtby would be a flexible, go-to option in three positions.

The signing of Paulinho would allow AVB to flip his side into a 4-3-3 for the upcoming season, providing the crowd with all-action, attacking, energetic displays.

He was wise not to insist upon it on joining, but it's no surprise to see him maneuvering toward it now that he has the chance to recruit the right peripherals.


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