Paulinho was one of the stand out performers as Tottenham beat Stoke City yesterday.
Tottenham secured a vital three points at home against Stoke City thanks to goals from Roberto Soldado, Moussa Dembele and Aaron Lennon.
However, it was one player who didn’t get on the score sheet yesterday who is getting plenty of praise and plaudits from Spurs fans for the way he controlled the midfield and the general pace of the game; Paulinho.
The Brazilian’s talent since moving from Corinthians for £17 million last summer has been clear for all to see and there are now small signs that he’s aiming for the sort of consistency which will help the club have a great second half of the season.
There were so many positive elements to the way Paulinho played against Stoke that it’s difficult to know where to start because his versatility allows him to be effective protecting the defence and also supporting the attack.
He gave a very mature performance in the middle and showed good organisation and leadership, which allowed other midfield players to break from their positions because they knew he was in control.
He also showed great awareness of the players around him, which allowed him to move the ball on quickly on the rare occasions when Stoke were able to put a little bit of pressure together and press him well.
He protects the ball well which is very important for any midfielder. He had a passing success rate of 92% before he was taken off yesterday as well as two key tackles and two interceptions during his time on the pitch.
There’s been a big debate this season over which side has the best box-to-box midfielder in the Premier League and on this evidence, if Paulinho can keep his form up then he’ll be right up there when the question is raised again in May.
Here’s what Tottenham fans made of his performance on Twitter.
Dear Real Madrid, It looks as though we've got another top player. #Paulinho When would you like to buy him? Love Mr Levy.— #SavingStacey (@DannyBoomHead) December 29, 2013
Well its been a pleasure to watch #paulinho this first half. Simply stunning performance.— david (@diamondx1982) December 29, 2013
Errrr that was probably the greatest back flick the world has ever seen... #Paulinho— CardioBoy MD (@IamSpurs) December 29, 2013
Suspended for 3 games and he goes and learns how to be Brazilian!! #Paulinho— Nick O'Donoghue (@NickOD84) December 29, 2013
He gets into the box well but his finishing is wayward at times #Paulinho— Neil Metcalfe (@Metcalficus) December 29, 2013
My man of the match is Mousa Dembele, great goal and dominated the game in midfield. Paulinho also extremely good today. Great win! #THFC— Addicted to Spurs (@AddictedtoSpurs) December 29, 2013
image: © visualkreator