Would Paulinho be a first team or squad player at Tottenham Hotspur?

The Brazilian midfielder is reportedly close to joining Tottenham Hotspur, will he go straight into the first team, or is he being brought in to add some depth to the squad?

Although Tottenham Hotspur fans will be delighted at signing anyone in June or early July this summer, a move for Corinthians midfielder Paulinho might not what they expect, with the need for a striker weighing heavily on their minds and Spurs seemingly well stocked for central midfielders.

However Andre Villas-Boas will likely need to add some depth to that area this summer, with Scott Parker, Jake Livermore and Tom Huddlestone all rumoured to be available for a move. However even then there is a question over what exactly Paulinho’s role at the club will be, with Mousa Dembele and Sandro already at the club.

There are three options, with Paulinho set to displace one of those two in the team or cover for them in Spurs’ current system, or a formation change that will see the Brazilian start alongside Sandro and Dembele.

In terms of replacing one of Dembele and Sandro, Paulinho would need to be very impressive in pre-season to oust either man from a starting spot after they excelled at White Hart Lane last season.

Adding Paulinho as cover would be a smart move by Spurs, after Sandro’s injury problems left them relying on an often below par Scott Parker for the second half of the season, and with Dembele frequently troubled by a hip complaint through the year. The 24-year-old is an excellent player to have in the squad to ensure Spurs would not lack quality in a similar position next year.

However perhaps the most likely option is that Villas-Boas is planning to switch to a 4-3-3 system next season, with Paulinho slotting in alongside Dembele and Sandro. This would give Spurs plenty of power and technical ability in the middle of the park, allowing a trio of attackers to have freedom ahead of them.

Paulinho has played in a similar system with Brazil at the Confederations Cup, and Sandor would probably sit behind his compatriot and Dembele who would be tasked with providing the supply to the front three.

image: © simonw92

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