In a very un-Spurs-like move, we appear to have secured the signing of an outstanding player at the up-turn of their career, in a position of need for us. For a relatively low fee AT THE START OF THE TRANSFER WINDOW!
Some may argue that actually, central midfield is not as much of a priority as other positions in our starting eleven however, for me it’s obvious that we had a large void that needed filling.
Yes, we already have the superstar-in-waiting Sandro and the instant fan-favourite Dembele, with established Premier League and once international players in the form of Tom Huddlestone and Scott Parker providing the bulk of the backup.
On paper, this looks solid enough. However the realistic truth is that both members of our first choice engine room spent far too much time on the treatment room table rather than on the hallowed turf.
Sandro’s injury at QPR changed our season. With the big Brazilian in the line-up, Dembele had so much more freedom to roam forward and to make those driving runs into the opposition half, gliding past top class players like they weren’t even there. Without him we were forced to play Scott Parker, the former Footballer of the Year who had won our hearts the previous season.
Sadly, it was rapidly made obvious that the tenacious anchor man we once trusted to patrol our central midfield now looked like a doddery old man, dangerously off the pace and soon tagged with the monikers “Square-Ball-Scotty” or “X-Box”. Dembele had to be on hand to help mop up the inevitable mistakes and I argue that we as an attacking force never really looked quite as consistently dangerous again.
This is where Paulinho comes in. From what I’ve seen of the former Corinthians man he looks to be a similar type of player to Dembele, but better. It’s obvious he has all the ability to control the centre of the park and has the distribution and nous to get the attacking play moving.
Every team needs good players in order to be successful and of course having Paulinho helps us to facilitate that, but this signing benefits us in so many ways. For me the biggest plus is that we now have three top class midfielders that we can plug in and play as opposed to the two we had last season.
Sandro’s injury is likely to come back at various times in his career. It’s the way it is with knees. Having that extra quality player in the same position means that Sandro’s knee issues can be managed appropriately and gives AVB the option of saying “Sit this one out Beast” if he needs to.
Dembele’s injuries were down to general wear and tear and tended to come at crucial points in our season. Any player who was asked to play the role he did with the intensity he showed is going to pick up knocks if asked to play in 45-50 games in a season. Paulinho’s signing should mean that the Belgian won’t have to carry such a huge burden this coming season.
The big Belgian will benefit the most as now he should be given the freedom to go and dominate the game the way he did at times last season without having to worry about who’s leaving the door open behind him.
It’s clear to everyone that Sandro, Paulinho in the middle with Dembele slightly more advanced will be our go-to midfield trio. Thoughts of the three of them together make my taste buds tingle and should allow us a chance of dominated the game against any team we play.
Players like Lewis Holtby, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Clint Dempsey will be allowed to play in position genuinely suited to them and AVB can rotate his first team without worrying about individual weaknesses.
I’m expecting big things of Holtby in particular as he should look to make the most of his opportunities when the squad is rotated.
Parker and Huddlestone may not be good enough for the Tottenham first team anymore but they’re both still Premier League quality without a doubt. They’re far too good to be sitting on the bench and should be moved on to sides that will give them 30+ games this season, allowing Tom Carroll to have the chances he deserves to make an impact on the first team.
The fact that it’s going to be all tied up nice and early makes this all the more sweet as he should be ready to go on day one the same way the Super-Jan was last season and the majority of growing pains (the likes of which we saw with Lloris, Dempsey, Gylfi and Holtby) should be relatively avoidable.
So all in all I see the signing of Paulinho as a cracking bit of business. I know he’s not going to be the second coming and I’m not expecting his adjustment to the Premier League to be seamless, but we all know how important keeping and using the ball in the engine room is and our already good midfield just took a big step top drawer with this acquisition.
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