Chelsea midfielder Oscar has admitted his surprise at the lack of playing time that Paulinho has got at Tottenham Hotspur so far this season.
Brazil international midfielder Paulinho has featured in just three Premier League games so far this season - all from the substitutes’ bench - and has played in four Europa League matches.
The 26-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at Tottenham, and fellow Brazilian Oscar is surprised.
“It will be nice to see Paulinho,” he told Chelsea’s official website ahead of tonight’s Premier League clash between the two sides at Stamford Bridge.
“He hasn’t started a lot this season but he has been playing more often recently, mainly as a substitute, although he started their Europa League game last week.
“It’s surprising because last season he played so well for them. We are good friends and our facilities meet up in London sometimes.”
Paulinho joined Tottenham from Brazilian giants Corinthians in the summer of 2013 for a reported transfer fee of £17 million.
Much was expected of the Brazilian, who impressed everyone with his performance at the 2013 Confederations Cup.
The former Bragantino star did start his Premier League career in style, but he faded away as the 2013-14 season progressed.
In 30 Premier League appearances last campaign, Paulinho scored six goals, created 21 chances, had a 84% pass accuracy and a 46% shot accuracy. He has won 45% of his duels.
However, Paulinho seems to be a squad player under Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino at the moment and has been linked with a move back to Brazil, with Sao Paulo and Corinthians both reported to be interested.
Whether Paulinho leaves Spurs in the January transfer window or not remains to be seen, but it does not appear very likely that he is going to play himself into Pochettino’s plans anytime soon.