Paulinho, 25, arrived in North London from Corinthians in a £17m move last summer, following impressive displays at the Confederations Cup for Brazil. Having seen off competition from Real Madrid to land the midfielder, expectations were high and whilst he produced positive performances in his first few months at the club, Paulinho has since fallen out of favour after the sacking of manager Andre Villas-Boas.
Having been seldom used under new boss Tim Sherwood, the Brazilian international announced his frustration this week, suggesting that he is unhappy at his lack of playing time at Tottenham and has failed to settle in to life in London having struggled to learn to speak English.
With his place in the Brazil side for this summer's World Cup on the line, it was understandable to see Paulinho ask for more playing time, but manager Sherwood says he must do what is best for Tottenham, not what is best for Brazil, and picks his side based on what he's during the week at training.
“I pick players on what they are doing in training, not on reputations and price tags,” Sherwood said. "I can’t be worrying if the Brazil national manager wants him to play every week. I am going to do what is best for Tottenham, not any national manager."
“He knows if he trains well and plays well, he stays in the side. He’s come here from another country and the language has been a problem for him. Also settling into the Premier League, it’s a different game from what he has been used to. It’s very fast with no respite and we play a completely different way to the Brazil team and the team he has come from."
“He won’t find any Premier League team similar to what he has been used to. But he trains well and wants to be a success.”
Paulinho's lack of action could cost him a place in Luiz Felipe Scolari's Brazil side for the World Cup this summer, with fellow central midfielders Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Hernanes (Inter Milan), Ramires (Chelsea) and now Fernandinho (Manchester City) all playing regularly and staking a claim for a place in the starting XI.