Two key passes, 89% pass-accuracy: Tottenham's Paulinho tidy but frustrating

Tottenham Hotspur's Paulinho provided another solid but unspectacular performance in Thursday night's 1-0 Europa League defeat at Besiktas, as rumours of a January exit leave his future in doubt.

Cenk Tosun's 59th-minute strike saw Tottenham Hotspur fall 1-0 at Besiktas on Thursday night to finish runners-up in Europa League Group C behind their Turkish opponents.

The match was delayed twice due to floodlight failure, once in the first and again in second-half stoppage time, as the visitors proved unable to capitalise on a number of prime chances to get on the scoresheet.

It was an overall unsatisfying trip for Mauricio Pochettino’s side, with one of the main sources of frustration being midfielder Paulinho, who was given another chance to prove his worth in European action.

  Total ShotsTotal Key PassesTotal PassesPassing AccuracyTotal CrossesAccurate CrossesTotal TacklesInterceptionsTotal DribblesSuccessful Dribbles TouchesMins Played
Paulinho 0 2 75 89% 12 4 4 3 1 1 97 69

The Brazilian midfielder provided some decent moments with his passing, and also delivered a few good corners and free-kicks, but he once again failed to prove decisive enough during his 69 minutes on the pitch, often slowing down the tempo with detrimental consequences.

The former Corinthians star is certainly an accomplished player but, after arriving at White Hart Lane last summer for around £17 million with comparisons to Frank Lampard, he has clearly not lived up to his billing.

Having made just five Premier League cameos this season for a total of 110 minutes, the 26-year-old international is seemingly running out of chances with Pochettino, and a January exit could well be on the cards if rumours are to be believed.

Corinthians have already made it clear, in no certain terms, that they would welcome him back to the club this winter, but it remains to be seen whether his £70,000-per-week wages would prove a stumbling block.

Whatever the case, Paulinho simply isn’t providing the necessary production for Spurs and, given the club already have a plethora of midfield options who excel in the short-passing game, there’s little reason to keep him around in north London at this point.

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