Has controversial Tottenham signing Paulinho finally been vindicated?

Russia's defender Fyodor Kudryashov and Brazil's midfielder Paulinho vie for the ball during an international friendly football match between Russia and Brazil at the Luzhniki stadium in...

Five years on, perhaps Tottenham midfielder Paulinho wasn't quite so rubbish after all?

Russia's defender Fyodor Kudryashov and Brazil's midfielder Paulinho vie for the ball during an international friendly football match between Russia and Brazil at the Luzhniki stadium in...

At the third time of asking, Paulinho is proving to be a roaring success in European football.

The Brazilian midfielder had forgettable spells as a teenager in Lithuania and Poland before heading back to Brazil to establish himself.

His form for Corinithians saw him make his name, prompting Tottenham to spend £17 million on him.

Paulinho was one of the seven signings bought with the Gareth Bale money, and he lasted just two seasons.

Paulinho of Spurs is seen on the bench during the Barclays Premier League match between  Tottenham Hotspur and Hull City at White Hart Lane on May 16, 2015 in London, England.

When he was sold for just £10 million, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy was jailed as somewhat of a genius for managing to get that much for him.

His underwhelming performances at White Hart Lane had fans wondering just quite why Spurs decided to pay £17 million for him in the first place.

The man who signed him, Franco Baldini, was later fired, with Paulinho flopping one of the contributing factors.

After a stint in China, Paulinho was surprisingly signed by Barcelona in the summer.

Even more surprisingly, he does not look out of place.

Paulinho of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Deportivo La Coruna at Camp Nou on December 17, 2017 in Barcelona,...

Paulinho has scored eight goals in 28 games from midfield and provided two assists for good measure.

He is also a key part of the Brazil side ahead of the World Cup this summer, scoring against Russia in a friendly at the weekend.

In his last 13 games for his country, Paulinho has scored seven times.

It has taken five years, but in 2017/18, Paulinho is finally showing why Tottenham spent £17 million on him in 2013.

He has belatedly vindicated their transfer move. It is just a shame he had to leave in order to unlock his quality.

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