|Paulinho joins Guangzhou Evergrande|
It was like a bomb explosion in August 2017 when FC Barcelona announced the signing of Brazilian midfielder Paulinho Bezerra from Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande for a fee of 40 million euros in a deal that turned out to be one of the most criticised in the club’s recent history for obvious reasons.
It was quite unusual for a big European club like Barcelona to sign a player from China for such a huge amount and speculations emerged that the deal was politically-driven. However, Paulinho went on to shut some of his critics up as he scored a very important debut goal to help Barcelona beat Getafe 2-1 in La Liga and then went on to score 8 more goals from midfield making him the third highest goalscorer for the club behind Messi and Luis Suarez.
FC Barcelona and Guangzhou Evergrande have officially confirmed that both clubs have reached an agreement for the transfer of the player who will move to his former club on a one-year loan with a mandatory buy option. This means that Paulinho is no longer a Barca player as he will go back to China and spend the next season on loan with the Chinese club having an option to buy him next season, with reports putting the price at €50 million.
Paulinho, a strong midfielder that has an eye for goal was duly criticised for his style of play as unfitting for Barcelona being more physical than technical on the ball. He scored 9 goals for the club but often found it hard to deliver the perfect pass or to make the right midfield-splitting turn, something the fans have been craving since the departure of midfield maestro Xavi Hernández.
With the announcement of another Brazilian midfielder Arthur Melo imminent, Barcelona fans believe they now have a more technical midfielder in their ranks and with the departure of Paulinho and Andres Iniesta it is very likely that Arthur will be a starter at the club.