Tottenham's Paulinho Has Brought Corinthians and Brazil Form to Premier League

Robbie BlakeleySpecial to Bleacher ReportOctober 3, 2013

Paulinho has made a promising start to his Tottenham career
Paulinho has made a promising start to his Tottenham careerClive Rose/Getty Images

Three months after his arrival in North London, Tottenham and Brazil midfielder Paulinho is slowly showing glimpses of the immense talent that convinced the Premier League club to part with £17 million to bring him to England.

Sitting third after six games would suggest Tottenham have made an encouraging start to the domestic season, and the Brazilian international has been one of the reasons for that early success.

Since he touched down, several comparisons have been made with Spurs' outgoing midfielder Scott Parker. But with Parker having departed for fellow Londoners Fulham, Paulinho has his opportunity to show he can bring much more to the table than his English counterpart.

Whilst Parker is an effective holding midfielder, the options he offers going forward are more limited than the new arrival at White Hart Lane. Fundamentally still a defensive midfield player, Paulinho is far more prone to surge forward and support the attack.

Paulinho's performances during the Confederations Cup cemented his place in the national side
Paulinho's performances during the Confederations Cup cemented his place in the national sideScott Heavey/Getty Images

He does not shirk his defensive duties either, covering both goal mouths and everything in between in an afternoon's work. In short, his game can vary vastly in the space of one half of a football match.

The 25-year-old is just as assured dropping in alongside the centre-halves as he is galloping forward to aid the attack. He is not as prolific as Chelsea's Frank Lampard, but if he can add eight or 10 goals for Spurs from midfield, it could prove invaluable come the end of the season.

What he brings, and what he is showing increasingly each week and with each consistently assured display, is the depth and quality Tottenham's midfield will possess this year. With Parker and Huddlestone exiting the White Hart Lane revolving door, the middle was crying out for some serious reinforcement. Paulinho brings that in abundance.

His height, strength and pace will all be invaluable assets and are what turned him into one of South America's most sought after talents during his three year spell at one of Brazil's biggest and most demanding clubs, Corinthians.

He made his name at the Sao Paulo club alongside midfield partner Ralf, where the two formed the most effective partnership in the Campeonato Brasileiro. Together they were national, continental and eventually world champions in a strong Corinthians side which has suffered in Paulinho's absence, despite the addition of Renato Augusto and Alexandre Pato from Bayer Leverkusen and AC Milan, respectively.

His form earned him a call-up to the national team in 2011, and he is now an absolute certainty for the World Cup squad next year. His performances were sensational during Brazil's successful Confederations Cup campaign in June, cementing his place in the starting line-up alongside either Luiz Gustavo or Sandro.

He scored twice during the tournament, including the winner in the semi-final against Uruguay and was superb in the final against Spain. His adaptation to English football has been helped in no small part by the similarity between Andre Villas-Boas' tactics and Scolari's team shape during the Confederations Cup.

Both fluctuate between a 4-2-3-1 and a 4-3-3 and Paulinho, as well as compatriot Sandro, can excel in both. The two compliment each other excellently and when they pull on the Tottenham shirt together for the first time it will be a major boost for the club.

Paulinho won the Campeonato Brasileiro, Copa Libertaodres and World Club Championship with Corinthians
Paulinho won the Campeonato Brasileiro, Copa Libertaodres and World Club Championship with CorinthiansLintao Zhang/Getty Images

Alongside Moussa Dembele, the three could make an excellent midfield trio, with Villas-Boas having the luxurious option of sending Paulinho and Dembele forward when the situation demands, allowing Sandro to stay back and drop in as a third centre-half.

A Sandro and Paulinho partnership on top form can only be good for Spurs, having already teamed up together on the international stage as Brazil's midfield holding duo. Now, at club level, the pair have the chance to develop a solid understanding before Scolari must name his final World Cup squad at the end of the European season.

When Paulinho joined Spurs back in July left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto claimed never to have heard of him. If his spiralling trajectory continues to zoom northwards,that should soon be remedied.