Keown: Tottenham overpaid for Paulinho – fair or ridiculous?

The Brazil international moved to White Hart Lane in the summer, and the former Arsenal defender believes Spurs shelled out too much on him.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has stoked the north London fires with a statement that he believes Tottenham overpaid for Paulinho this summer.

The Brazil international moved to White Hart Lane from Corinthians in the off-season in a deal worth around £17 million.

However, Keown stated that he was surprised that Andre Villas-Boas’ men paid so much for the South American midfielder.

"I saw him in the summer at the Confederations Cup and I was quite surprised Spurs paid that much money for him,” the former Gunner told The Daily Mail.

“He was one of the most 'un-Brazilian' players I had seen. He sat deep in midfield for his national side, but of the two Brazilian central midfielders to arrive in England this summer, Fernandinho was the better of the two."

Are Keown’s comments fair, or is he showing his Arsenal bias?

Paulinho continues to be a valued member of the Brazil national team, and still starts for the World Cup hosts despite a change of head coach.

Keown’s comments regarding his Confederations Cup performances are very questionable – the Spurs man was third in the player of the tournament accolade, and also named in the team of the tournament.

With Tottenham bringing seven new faces into their first-team squad over the summer, it is only natural that these foreign stars will take time to settle into their new environment.

However, of the seven, it is arguable that Paulinho has impressed the most of the new men, playing in all 14 of Spurs’ Premier League games so far this season.

The 25-year-old is used as a defensive midfielder for Brazil given the amount of attacking talent ahead of him, but for Spurs his box-to-box play has been a key feature of his play so far.

One criticism of Paulinho to date is that he does not get enough goals, with the Brazil international only netting once so far in the league. However, the fact that he repeatedly gets in goalscoring positions is a credit to his work-rate and movement.

Regarding Keown’s comments about Paulinho being un-Brazilian, it is true that he is not the delicate, immensely technical player that the South American country usually produces, but his more robust style suits English football.

The ex-Corinthians man has shown that he is very able on the ball, and was impressive when played in a more advanced role against Manchester United in the last home fixture for Spurs.

Finally, Keown’s assertion that Fernandinho is a better player than Paulinho is not fair – as the Manchester City man is a pure enforcer while the Spurs midfielder has more attacking instincts. Tottenham already have two enforcers in the form of Sandro and Etienne Capoue.

Regardless of the argument over which of the two is a better signing, Paulinho is a starter for Brazil, while Fernandinho is not even in the squad.

image: © visualkreator

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