Brazilian midfielder Paulinho won’t have fond memories of the Premier League following his disappointing spell at Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs spent £17 million to sign Paulinho from Corinthians in 2013. Upon his arrival, the Brazil international insisted he wouldn’t “regret” his decision to move to the Premier League.
“I am moving from one big club to Tottenham, another club in a big league,” Paulinho said, per Sky Sports. “I am sure I will perform my job to the best of my ability. I don't regret and I won't regret [this decision]."
Fast forward to 2017 and Paulinho will probably want to revise that statement.
The midfielder lasted just two seasons in England. He made 27 league appearances in 2014-15, 12 of which came as a substitute, so his departure in the summer of 2015 came as no real surprise.
Chinese Super League outfit Guangzhou Evergrande swooped to sign Paulinho for £9.9m.
Tottenham will probably be disappointed it never worked out for Paulinho at White Hart Lane, for he has enjoyed an impressive revival in recent months.
He scored a hat-trick for Brazil in their 4-1 win over Uruguay in March and has even been linked with a move to Bayern Munich.
But, while all is going well for Paulinho on the pitch, he’s ran into a spot of bother off it.
Risk of deportation
According to the Mirror, the 28-year-old is at risk of being deported from China after being photographed promoting an illegal betting company in the Asian country.
Paulinho probably didn’t know that betting is illegal in China when he agreed to endorse Letou, an Asian betting company which targets Chinese punters.
Under FIFA’s rules, players are prohibited from having any involvement in the betting industry. While it remains to be seen whether Paulinho will be punished, he’s certainly made a mistake in agreeing to be a part of Letou’s campaign.
As part of the promotion, Paulinho also posed alongside Japanese porn star Tsukasa Aoi. This makes the situation doubly worse considering pornography is also illegal in China.
Successful World Cup qualifying campaign
Paulinho will be keen to ensure this embarrassment doesn’t affect his form in any way, for he has a World Cup squad to make.
The Guangzhou Evergrande man has played an important part in Brazil’s successful qualifying campaign. He spoke of his delight after bagging a hat-trick against Uruguay earlier in the month.
“I'd never dreamt of a hat-trick that would help the national squad to win a very important three points," Paulinho said, per Goal.