Benoit Assou-Ekotto may have never heard of him, but Spurs’ recent acquisition Paulinho may well end up being worth every penny of the £17 million the north Londoners forked out. He won’t do his damage in the goalscoring department though.
Here, we assess what kind of impact the Brazilian will make on the Premier League and why it could be profitable to back him to score less than 5.5 goals at 17/20.
On first viewing, his goalscoring pedigree does actually make intriguing reading for Spurs fans. In a three-year stint at Corinthians, the box-to-box midfielder bagged 20 goals in just 86 appearances as he was given plenty of licence from his boss Adenor Leonardo Bacchi, better known as Tite, to support the front-men.
In internationals too Paulinho has already shown his capabilities of finding the net at the top level, notching five goals in just 17 caps. One of those strikes was the equaliser against England in Brazil’s 2-2 draw back in June, when he met Lucas Moura’s cross with a spectacular volley.
Paulinho’s record certainly brings forward the argument to wade in on the 1.85 available on him bagging over 5.5 goals this season, but this bet probably rests on manager Andre Villas Boas rather than the player himself.
That’s enough to put us off.
Early signs suggest that the Spurs gaffer may want to deploy the talented customer in a more reserved role, replacing Scott Parker as the midfield destroyer.
This would obviously affect Paulinho’s chances of marauding into goalscoring positions; therefore making the likelihood of him scoring six goals this season rather slim.
Parker has failed to score from that position for Spurs, and although the Brazilian has a greater attacking energy that the England star, Villas Boas’s tactics won’t maximise his goalscoring pedigree.
The 17/20 on him scoring under 5.5 goals looks dripping with value. Act on it.