Tottenham Hotspur Star Paulinho Has the Makings of a World Cup Winner

Trevor Murray@@TrevorM90Contributor IMay 27, 2014


The clock is ticking. The preparations remain unfinished. The squads are almost finalised. And with Brazil the all-around favourites to lift the famous trophy, it's time to take a look at what Tottenham Hotspur star Paulinho can provide to their challenge. 

There can't be many who would argue that he isn't a hugely talented midfielder. He has the ability to change the flow of any game. And having been included in Luiz Felipe Scolari's provisional 23-man squad, he'll be hoping he can produce the goods if and when they need him to. 

Although his domestic displays in the Premier League haven't been anywhere near as exciting or headline-grabbing as he would have liked, the World Cup could provide him with the perfect opportunity to showcase his skills.

Having netted just six goals in 28 league appearances, the Brazilian midfielder certainly didn't possess the same level of drive and conviction to step up to the plate as his team-mate and club player of the season Christian Eriksen.

And even though he's a defensive-minded player at heart, nobody will have been more disappointed by those figures than the player himself.

Overall, his shifts in the middle of the park were rather sporadic and disappointingly bland for large periods of the season. He rarely seemed to reach top gear despite some brief moments of magic. 

But that hasn't stopped some of the biggest teams in world football from being linked with an offer for his services.

According to The Telegraph, Chelsea are confident of completing a deal for the 25-year-old as soon as the month-long festival of football comes to an end.

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

Of course, all that could change now that the powers that be at White Hart Lane have brought in the impressive Mauricio Pochettino from Southampton

After all, the player himself has expressed his desire to stay, according to FourFourTwo: "I know how to handle my career and it'll take more than just one bad moment before I reconsider my options. We have all got responsibilities at Tottenham and we are ready to go through this."

No doubt, his debut season in England's top flight is likely to have its slate wiped clean after the summer should they manage to keep him in the white of Spurs, and they'd be smart to do just that.

Regardless of who's in the dugout next season, the fans at Tottenham will know just how good a player Paulinho is, and they certainly won't be too fond of selling him to Jose Mourinho over at Stamford Bridge. They found it difficult enough keeping up with the breakaway pack last season as it was.

Reflecting back on his displays in the famous yellow of Brazil during the Confederations Cup reveals some great qualities that seem to have gone largely forgotten in the past year. Remember, it was his headed goal with less than five minutes to go that helped his side squeeze past Uruguay in the semi-final on a scoreline of 2-1.

So, as he's already proved just how much of a big-match player he can be for his national team, there's little reason to doubt that he can do it again over the next few weeks.

Not to forget the heroics he displayed for Corinthians against his reported suitors, Chelsea, in the Club World Cup final back in December 2012, the indications are there that he can make a huge impact on some of the biggest stages around. 

The task of transferring over from the South American style of play to England's more bullish physicality has proved to be the undoing of many a rising star, but with Paulinho surrounded by the familiarity of Brazil's domestic stadiums and pitches, a homecoming might be exactly what he needs to get back into form once more.