Fernandinho v Paulinho – The battle of the Premier League new boys

Two highly rated Brazilians have arrived on English shores this summer with Fernandinho and Paulinho joining Manchester City and Tottenham respectively – so who has got the better deal?

The obvious place to start is the with the money spent, where it is reported that Fernandinho costs a hefty £28 million and Paulinho fair fraction less at £17 million, which begs the question of whether the former is worth the extra cash?

One of and arguably the only reason that the price tags differ so much is that Fernandinho is a proven performer in Europe given that he has enjoyed a vast number of successful years with Shakhtar Donetsk – excelling in not only the domestic league but also in the Champions League. His already proven ability to cut it in Europe should not be played down given that highly rated South American talents have a more than a mixed record when it comes to transferring their skills to Europe’s top leagues. That said the attributes that Paulinho possesses mean he has as good of a chance as any to make a strong transition – the high tempo often proves a problem for South American imports but given the box to box nature of the midfielders play that should not prove a significant stumbling block.

Those who are experts in South American football have expressed their surprise that it has taken this long for a Premier League side to make their move and that Spurs were not given more competition for his signature. This is because he is seen as an ideal player for English football, given the energy, strength, drive and goals from midfield he brings to sides – with many likening him to Frank Lampard. Along with this joining Portuguese boss Andre Vilas Boas should surely make the transition period somewhat smoother – whilst having countryman Sandro together with him in the centre of midfield will be another significant bonus.

At just 24 Paulinho also holds the edge over Fernandinho in relation to age, with the new Manchester City recruit now 28. What you might count further against Fernandinho is that unlike Paulinho he is not part of the Brazilian national side set up – although there are some who would state that he has been held back in this respect by playing his trade in the Ukraine.

With all this evidence it’s hard to argue that Spurs have not done the better bit of business in regards to getting value for money. That is however not to say that City have made a poor move in signing Fernandinho – yes City have probably paid over the odds but his presence should unquestionably improve their midfield. Last season City were often one and paced and lacking creativity, a problem which Fernandinho should help to address given that he has the ability to make things happen and possesses real pace and agility. Should he quickly find his feet and replicate the form he has for years showcased in the Ukraine City could well have the best central midfield pairing in the league, in Fernandinho and YaYa Toure.

So whilst Spurs undoubtedly have landed the better deal both clubs have acquired players who should make a real impact in England – more importantly players who will both significantly improve the clubs they have signed for.