What Signing Paulinho Means for Clint Dempsey's Future at Tottenham

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJuly 2, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Clint Dempsey of Tottenham Hotspur controls the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City at White Hart Lane on April 21, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

The big news coming out of White Hart Lane with the opening of the summer transfer window this week was the completion of the signing of Brazilian star Paulinho from Corinthians.

Paulinho was on Tottenham's radar before the beginning of the Confederations Cup and he thoroughly impressed the club's brass during the tournament in his home country of Brazil.

The 24-year-old midfielder was confirmed as a Spurs player earlier this week and with his arrival comes the domino effect of players that will see themselves out of North London before the start of the season in August (via The Guardian).

One of the players who will be staying at the club but will have a tougher road to the starting 11 will be American Clint Dempsey, who was signed by Spurs from Fulham last summer on the final day of the transfer window.

Last season during Tottenham's road to fifth place, Dempsey played in 29 total matches and scored a total of seven goals.

With the arrival of Paulinho, a change in formation from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 is widely expected out of Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas.

As pointed out by B/R's Christopher Atkins earlier this week in his article, Paulinho would ideally line up with Sandro and Mousa Dembele in the midfield with Gareth Bale being a part of the trio playing up front.

If those four starting positions are set in stone, that leaves Dempsey the opportunity to compete for one of the two spots in the front three.

Last season, the American was most effective when he sat behind the lone forward in the 4-2-3-1, which is a position that will be extinct in the new makeup of the Spurs squad.

With Bale being all but a guarantee to start on the left wing, Dempsey will be forced to compete with the speedy Aaron Lennon on the right wing.

At the forward position, Jermain Defoe should be the regular starter but if Dempsey can find a knack for scoring goals early on in the season, he could challenge Defoe for his spot as well.

As for his chances of breaking into the potentially deadly midfield trio, Dempsey would have to be in the best form of his life to challenge that trio of players for a consistent starting position based on the form of those three players over the last year.

One role that Dempsey could fill in that midfield trio is the one of Sandro. If the Brazilian fails to successfully return to his old form after his season-ending Achilles injury that cost him the second half of the 2012-13 campaign, Dempsey could find an opportunity there for some playing time.

Dempsey is not guaranteed a starting spot at Tottenham at the moment but if there is any player on the squad at the moment that will fight tooth and nail for his position, it is the pesky captain of the United States men's national team.


What role do you think Clint Dempsey will play at Tottenham with Paulinho in the squad?

Comment below or leave me a comment on Twitter, @JTansey90.