Why Paulinho should not fear for his future amidst Schneiderlin talks

Paulinho

The reported arrival of Morgan Schneiderlin would give Tottenham Hotspur a wealth of midfield options, and Paulinho should be a key part.

Morgan Schneiderlin excelled for Southampton last season, and with Mauricio Pochettino now in charge of Tottenham Hotspur, he reportedly wants to bring the 24-year-old to White Hart Lane to fit in his high pressing system.

If Schneiderlin is to join, then there is no doubt that he would become an immediate starter, strengthening a weak point in the Spurs first team. However, his arrival would push a current player out of the starting line-up - with many believing that Brazilian midfielder Paulinho is set for the exit from North London.

Despite his high-profile arrival at White Hart Lane and his early season form, the 26-year old failed to impress for the duration of the Premier League. He featured regularly for Brazil at the World Cup - appearing six times for the hosts - but his future at Spurs has come under threat.

However, the arrival of French international Schneiderlin may not be the cause for his exit, with it potentially catalysing his career in the Premier League.

Last season, Schneiderlin featured as the holding midfielder in Pochettino's system, sitting deep and compressing the space between the defence and the midfield. He was used to intercept any loose balls and act as a second line of defence in the middle third of the pitch.

Schneiderlin's midfield partner - usually Victor Wanyama or Jack Cork - acted as the more creative of the two, pushing forward and linking up play in the transition between defence and attack. This energetic box-to-box midfielder is the role that Paulinho could play next to the Frenchman, and it is the role that he should excel in.

When Paulinho arrived in English football, it was with the tag of the 'Brazilian Frank Lampard' - with his energy and goal-scoring abilities praised by the media - and, while he broke into the opposition penalty area early in his Spurs career, he became more and more reserved by the latter stages of the season. His transformation into an out-and-out defensive midfielder reduced his efficiency and meant that he wasn't playing up to his strengths.

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A midfield two of Schneiderlin and Paulinho allows both players to play to their strengths, with one as the holding midfielder and the other as the energetic midfielder. It also produces further cover at central defence, with Etiene Capoue not required in midfield, allowing him to fill in when needed.

On paper, the potential midfield that Spurs will line up with next season is of the highest quality, and if Pochettino can get them playing to their best talents, then there is no doubt that the North Londoners will once again be challenging for a top-four finish.

Can Paulinho become a key player for Spurs this season?

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