Let’s get some things out of the way—I did not like Paulinho’s transfer. There are various reasons for my lack of enthusiasm but they’re not relevant to the discussion at hand.
Is Paulinho what we wanted this summer? Looking at all the midfield targets we had (Verratti, Coutinho, Seri, etc.), it is hard to come up with a uniform set of skills that can help one identify the profile we needed. The profile we had was ambiguous, volatile and lacked definition. As such, signing the Brazilian shouldn’t come as a surprise.
We all have our reasons for liking/disliking this transfer but the question is if Paulinho is a good player. Honestly, it is too soon to tell. He has his critics and admirers who will always have something new to add to their list of reasons—indulging either is unhealthy.
The midfielder has been a bit of a surprise since he donned the Blaugrana and his impact has earned him a new-found respect amongst Cules. Most of us wrote him off before he played a single minute for us and for that we will only have ourselves to blame. On the other hand, those riding high on the Brazilian’s exploits need to exercise caution; the season is long.
Barcelona has a history of making questionable buys from Brazil and Paulinho was just another name in that list.
With back-to-back performances that had polarising moments, the Brazilian has further fuelled the flame on either side of the debate. It is unfortunate that through no fault of his own, Barcelona’s latest midfield acquisition is being subjected to the pitchforks of scrutiny.
Time will be the judge on whether Paulinho is good, but one thing has been settled—he is no Douglas.