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Were Spurs too hasty selling Paulinho as he impresses for Barcelona?

Paulinho of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga match between Athletic Club Bilbao and FC Barcelona at San Mames Stadium on October 28, 2017 in...

Tottenham sold Paulinho in 2015 but two years on and he is now a key player for Barcelona.

Paulinho of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga match between Athletic Club Bilbao and FC Barcelona at San Mames Stadium on October 28, 2017 in...Paulinho of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga match against Athletic Club Bilbao.

When Barcelona paid Guangzhou Evergrande £36.4m (BBC) for Paulinho in August there were more than a few eyebrows raised; not least at Tottenham Hotspur who had sold the midfielder to the Chinese club just two years prior.

It seemed not many in Catalonia were that impressed either, with the criticism aimed at the Brazilian swift and fairly brutal, leading the 29 year old to defend his position before having even played a game.

Jose Paulo Becerra alias Paulinho (R) of FC Barcelona competes for the ball with Sergio Escudero (L) of Sevilla FC during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at Camp Nou...Paulinho (R) of FC Barcelona competes for the ball with Sergio Escudero (L) of Sevilla FC.

"Everything I can do I can do it by playing, so I will change the opinion of the people," Paulinho was quoted by ESPN.

"The best way to respond is on the field, helping my teammates, striving for victories.

"I am very mature and I do not think about [criticism], only about helping Barcelona win titles."

Barcelona's Brazilian midfielder Paulinho holds a press conference in Barcelona on October 17, 2017 on the eve of the UEFA Champions League group D football match between Barcelona and...Barcelona's Paulinho holds a press conference on the eve of the UEFA Champions League group D football match.

A little under three months on and Barca sit top of La Liga and on the verge of qualification from their Champions League group with the Brazil international having played a key part, scoring three goals in 14 appearances in all competitions.

Paulinho has also been vital for his national team as they dominated qualification in South America for the 2018 World Cup and fitness depending is likely to do the same at the tournament in Russia next year.

While in China it was a little easier for Tottenham to dismiss the midfield ace's impressive performances, now at the Camp Nou it raises the question of whether they made a mistake selling him in 2015?

The South American's displays were admittedly indifferent during his time in North London, never really living up to the expectations that arrived with him at White Hart Lane when he joined from Corinthians in 2013.

That said, injuries did not help and under manager Mauricio Pochettino, Paulinho started just three Premier League games in their one and only season together and few fans were sad to see him leave at the end of 2014/15.

At a time when Mousa Dembele is struggling for consistent game time and could be coming to the end of his Spurs career and doubts remain over Moussa Sissoko, could the current Barcelona man have developed into a star under Pochettino if given the chance?

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