Paulinho is not a popular signing. Barcelona fans, at least online, revolted last night after the loss to Real Madrid in El Clasico. They made #BartomeuDimiteYa a worldwide #1 trending topic on Twitter.
It wasn’t just the loss. They were also annoyed that Neymar had not been properly replaced after his stunning move to Paris Saint-Germain. But it didn’t help that Paulinho was signed and he’s not rated by a lot of fans.
Of course, it’s fair to criticize the signing for a variety of reasons. But abuse shouldn’t be thrown at the Brazilian, especially before he’s even kicked a ball. It’s fine to criticize his mistakes on the pitch, of course. However, there is potential right now for fans to direct misgivings about the board and the club’s long-term planning towards a specific player. That just isn’t fair.
Paulinho is merely taking the chance of a lifetime. Who wouldn’t want a move to Barcelona, especially from the Chinese league? He’s not making this switch for the money.
The transfer fee is not his fault. His age is not his fault. And right now, whether you like it or not, his fortunes and those of Barça fans are linked. They should hope he performs well on the pitch, even if they don’t believe he will. And they should give him a chance before he is greeted with abuse.
Again, this isn’t his fault.