Barcelona midfielder Denis Suárez has spoken of his admiration for teammate Paulinho, who joined the Catalan giants from Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande in the summer transfer window. Paulinho was by all accounts a flop during his time at Spurs, but he appears to have been revitalised by his time in China, and is now flourishing for Barça.
In an interview with Spanish radio station RAC1, via Sport, Suárez took the opportunity to praise his new teammate, who has taken a lot of pundits by surprise with his performances since joining the La Liga outfit. Suárez claimed:
"I like to watch football and I’ve seen Paulinho playing for Brazil, where he’s demonstrated what he is. He’s a physical player who gives us a lot on a defensive level because he’s so strong.
"And going forward he adds a lot, too, because he makes those runs into the box, as we saw against Getafe. And then he’s an animal at set plays, he’s incredible. He’s been unfairly criticised, above all because of the moment he arrives, which was just after Neymar left, but anyone who’s seen the Brazil national team knows he’s not a mediocre player.
"I don’t think it was necessary for him to shut any mouths. He’s proving the level he’s at and the importance he can have on the team.”
Paulinho has featured heavily in his side's bright start to the 2017/18 La Liga campaign, scoring two goals and contributing an assists in five appearances.
Barcelona currently sit top of La Liga, having won all six of their opening matches. Their fierce rivals Real Madrid are languishing in sixth place with seven points off the pace after a shocking run of results.