Mauricio Pochettino won’t allow Paulinho to return to his former club on loan, despite being frozen out of Tottenham Hotspur’s plans recently.
The 26-year-old midfielder has made just four appearances in all competitions this season, and only one of these came in the Premier League when he entered the field after an hour in the 1-0 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion in September. This has led to speculation over his immediate future, with ex-employers Corinthians said to be interested in taking him back.
However, Pochettino has ruled out letting Paulinho leave White Hart Lane, insisting the player still has a role to play in his first-team plans. Instead, the Argentine coach claims the reason the Brazilian international hasn’t seen more action was because he was late back from representing his country at the World Cup Finals, which has hindered his match-fitness somewhat.
When asked about a possible loan deal to Corinthians, Pochettino told ESPN Brasil: “No. No Tottenham Hotspur player, and this includes Paulinho, will be loaned to Brazil. There is no chance. Paulinho arrived late, one of the last players to join the squad after the World Cup Finals. There isn’t any problem with him at all. He is training well and doing well, it’s just a technical decision.”
Paulinho cost Spurs around £17million when he joined during the summer of 2013, and he went on to score eight goals in 37 appearances in all competitions in his debut season. At the time of his arrival he was the club’s most expensive signing in their history, but they have since paid more for both Roberto Soldado (£25million) and Erik Lamela, who joined from Roma for £30million.
Tottenham beat Asteras Tripolis 5-1 in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday night, a match in which Paulinho was not involved in. He is available for the visit of Newcastle United when the Premier League resumes on Sunday afternoon, when Pochettino will be expecting his side to collect what would be just a second win from their last seven fixtures in the competition.
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