Why it is time Tottenham dropped Ryan Mason in favour of Paulinho

White Hart Lane 3

This weekend Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has some interesting decisions to make regarding team selection.

On Saturday, Tottenham Hotspur travel to the Britannia Stadium to take on Stoke City and Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino would be wise to swap one midfielder for another as he seeks a return to winning ways.

Ryan Mason has enjoyed a breakout campaign at White Hart Lane, but his recent performances have been far from impressive and with Paulinho now available once more, it is the Brazilian who should start against the Potters.

Mason has made 34 appearances for Tottenham this season, scoring two goals and providing three assists in that time. In contrast, Paulinho has featured 30 times, scoring two goals and setting up an additional five.

The latter’s recent performance against Newcastle United suggested he still has plenty to offer for as long as he remains at the club, and now he is back from personal leave he deserves a starting spot ahead of his younger teammate.

  Passing AccuracyGoal Assists per GameKey Passes per GameOn-target Shots per GameTackles Won per gameDuels Won per GameAerials Won per GameAppearancesMins Played
Nabil Bentaleb 90% 0 0.5 0 2.17 6.5 1.83 6 537
Ryan Mason 85% 0 0.67 0.17 0.83 3.67 0.67 6 423
Paulinho 80% 0.25 0.75 0.25 1.75 4 0.75 4 230

While Nabil Bentaleb’s own high standards may have dipped slightly themselves after a long season, the Algerian should keep his place alongside a player who will offer more physicality than Mason.

And as you can see above, taking into consideration the last six league matches, Paulinho outperforms Mason in some key areas.

The 26-year-old has more assists in that period, while he also averages more key passes, more shots on target, more succesful tackles, more duels and more interceptions per appearance than Mason.

There is no doubt the Tottenham youngster is a fine talent, but he needs a rest, with Paulinho given the chance to show what he can do between now and the end of the campaign.

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