Why Tottenham would be right to take what they can get for Paulinho in the transfer window.
29 minutes. If there was a statistic to illustrate Paulinho's current relevance to Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino's plans, that is it.
The small amount of time represents the Premier League football the Brazilian has been entrusted to play this season, out of a possible maximum of 720.
Part of Brazil's side at the World Cup, Pochettino prefers to play Ryan Mason in the middle, a superb young talent, but one who was playing his football in League One with Swindon Town last season.
While that suggests everything about the youngster's sudden ascendancy, Paulinho's fall to earth is equally poignant.
Signed for £17.1 million from Corinthians a summer ago, Paulinho is not playing under his third head coach at Spurs, and it would seem he is not in the plans of the Argentine.
Including the League Cup and Europa League, he has made three starts, but these have not been enough to earn him anything in the Premier League barring one substitute showing in the 0-1 loss at home to West Brom, hardly a showing which will have counted in his favour.
The Evening Standard reported yesterday that Spurs are considering permitting the midfielder to return to Brazil, with Corinthians desiring to take him on loan.
While, considering the fee Liverpool paid for him, it may seem galling to take such a loss on the midfielder, it is sensible to cut him loose and go and rediscover his form and confidence back in his homeland.
His market value has depreciated greatly already, and if he can get back to his best in Brazil, it at least may help Tottenham's cause in getting a decent fee for him. Alternatively he could return refreshed and ready to give it a second go, but leaving him on the bench week in and week out is not only unproductive for the player, it's of no use to Spurs either.