Former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho leaves new side after just four appearances

The former Brazil international had only joined the Saudi Arabian club on 22 July but is now a free agent after the club released a mysterious statement explaining his exit

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Former Tottenham midfielder Paulinho has left club Al Ahli after just four matches with the club.

The former Brazil international only joined the Saudi Arabian club on 22 July but is a free agent less than two months later after asking for his contract to be terminated.

Paulinho scored two goals in his four appearances for the mysterious club statement claimed that ‘emergency circumstances’ had led to his departure on a free transfer.

The central midfielder’s future is now unclear having spent the majority of the last six years of his career at the Chinese Super League club Guangzhou Evergrande.

Paulinho made 67 appearances across two seasons at Tottenham


Clive Rose)

Paulinho was released from his contract at the Far East club following a mutual agreement due to the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to him joining Al Ahli this summer.

A quick, hard-working, and energetic midfielder, often described as being box-to-box, had been a statement signing at the Saudi club, where he joined former Leeds midfielder Ezgjan Alioski.

Yet his exit is clouded in mystery with the club refusing to clarify any details relating to his departure aside from a vague conversation with club management, despite Paulinho having played on Friday.

A statement from the club read: “The termination of the contract with ‘Paulinho’ comes due [to] emergency circumstances, he spoke with the club’s management recently, which was reflected in his performance on the field during the past rounds, expressing his inability to provide the desired addition to the team.”

Paulinho played 67 games for Spurs across two seasons between 2013 and 2015 – he was one of the seven signings at the club following Gareth Bale’s exit to Real Madrid.

The Brazilian midfielder joined White Hart Lane in a £17million deal from Corinthians – a club record deal at the time that was soon surpassed by the arrivals of Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela.

After netting 10 goals for Spurs, he then moved to Chinese football in 2015 to link-up with former Brazil boss Luis Felipe Scolari at Guangzhou Evergrande in a £10million deal.

Eyebrows were raised when Paulinho then joined Barcelona two years later, where he scored nine goals across 49 appearances and helped the club win a domestic double of La Liga and Copa del Rey titles.

He would then re-join Guangzhou Evergrande the following year, initially on a season-long loan deal before making the switch permanent.

The midfielder has had a keen eye for goal across his career with 157 goals across his club appearances while also bagging 13 strikes at international level with Brazil.

Paulinho featured in the 2014 and 2018 World Cups for his nation, and has been regarded as a well-rounded player who combines physicality with technical ability.

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