Paulinho aiming to silence critics

New Barcelona midfielder Paulinho is keen to repay the Spanish Primera League giants for putting faith in his abilities by luring him back to European football.

After an indifferent spell at Tottenham Hotspur, the powerful midfielder made a surprise career move by venturing to the much-maligned Chinese Super League in 2015.

However, the Brazil international flourished at Guangzhou Evergrande under the management of his compatriot Luiz Felipe Scolari over the past three years.

And last season’s exploits of 12 goals and four assists in 29 games earned the box-to-box midfielder a return to the Brazil national team set-up.

But it was his displays with the Selecao that convinced the Blaugrana to invest €40 million, to activate his release clause and lure him to the Camp Nou.

While many suggest the 29-year-old is an underwhelming arrival following the loss of superstar forward Neymar to PSG, Paulinho insists he will silence his detractors under manager Ernesto Valverde.

“I’m certain I can fit in at Barca and prove that all the effort they made to get me here was worth it,” he said at his official presentation. “I know Barca have their own style and DNA but I think I can play here.

“I will play where I need to and see what opportunities I have. My intention is to help the team to win trophies.

“Barca are Barca and I don’t think you can say no to them. To play here is to realise a dream.”

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