A key signing by all respects, the latest round of transfer news sees Tottenham Hotspur's confirmation of the signing of Brazil's Confederations Cup star, Paulinho. According to David Ornstein of BBC Sport, the move was sealed for a fee in the region of £17 million.
As Andre Villas-Boas prepares for his second season in charge at White Hart Lane, the Portuguese tactician could not have picked up a better midfielder. This is likely a signing that will ensure that he is able to build on the successful first season he enjoyed.
Since his debut for Corinthians back in 2010, the 24-year-old has continually produced spectacular performances and has subsequently established himself as a key player for the Sao Paulo-based side.
He played a pivotal role in the Club World Cup as he led his side en route to a famous victory against Chelsea, who he'll now play against as rivals in the Premier League. In addition to his performances for Corinthians, his stellar showing for Brazil in the latest installment of the Confederations Cup that earned him the Bronze Ball has also helped him in his pursuit of European football.
And as the World Cup is just around the corner, his European dream could not have come at a sweeter time.
An engine in both attack and defence, he's known for his work ethic as an industrious box-to-box midfielder. Paulinho proved to be great on defence during the Confederations Cup last month, as he was able to plug in any gaps left behind by Thiago Silva and David Luiz in the centre of the pitch. He possesses great skill when it comes to tackling and is an aggressive presser.
However, he has also shown creativity in the final third and has been effective in driving the team forward. Whilst his responsibilities mainly lie in defending and creating chances for the attackers, he has also chipped in with crucial goals at albeit crucial times, scoring twice throughout the Selecao's Confederations Cup campaign.
On the outset, it seems that Paulinho's arrival will not solve Tottenham's over-reliance on Gareth Bale as an attacking force, it is a clear indication of Villas-Boas' intent on changing his philosophy at the club. In fact the Portuguese coach looks to be implementing a 4-3-3 formation, a setup he used back at Porto to much success and started using towards the end of last season in the process building the midfield around German starlet Lewis Holtby and Moussa Dembele.
In order to wrestle with the physicality of the modern-day English game, Villas-Boas will need to construct a side that will thrive on quick transitions and use counterattacks as a medium in conjunction with the athleticism, speed and creativity he already has at his disposal.
This tactic, seemingly different to the slow possession-based game that he used back at Porto, could prove very successful in the Premier League. His midfield in the form of Paulinho, Dembele, Sandro and occasionally Holtby has the potential to be a formidable force. The coach will look to craft his side into both a proactive and reactive force.
As mentioned before, Paulinho offers defensive stability. This will allow Moussa Dembele to stretch his legs and become more of a creative player, and it may signal the end of the "double pivot" that Villas-Boas was forced to implement.
With players such as Joao Moutinho escaping the reaches of Spurs this transfer window, Paulinho's signing will prove to be a much-needed morale booster for a side that hungers for Champions league football.
Paulinho was built for the English game, his physicality and skill will allow Tottenham stability in both attack and defence and allow Villas-Boas to extract the best traits out of each and every player. He is indeed an important signing, and the timing couldn't be any better.
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