Chinese Super League giants Guangzhou Evergrande have completed the capture of Paulinho, who will rejoin his former club next season.
Paulinho has decided to bid Barcelona adieu as he rejoins Chinese Super League outfit Guangzhou Evergrande, the club has confirmed. The Brazilian international leaves Camp Nou in a shocking one year loan with an option to buy, which can be triggered at the turn of next year.
The 29-year-old only joined the Spanish giants last summer in a €40 million deal from Evergrande. Even though the Brazilian scored 22 goals in just 84 games during his first spell with the Chinese outfit, his big-money money move to Spain was seen as a huge surprise.
But, the former Spurs midfielder made an immediate impact after arriving at Barcelona, scoring nine goals in 49 appearances in his debut season.
Therefore, his departure will be seen as an even bigger surprise following his incredible performances last campaign. Having said that, the Catalans seem rather content of letting go of their Brazilian star, who, in turn, is delighted to have rejoined his former club.
“The level of the Super League has improved year by year and the development prospects are very good,” Paulinho told Guangzhou’s website.
“After training in Evergrande and Barcelona, and following the Brazilian national team in the World Cup, I got a good experience. I chose to return to the Super League this time, hoping to bring more championships to Guangzhou and Guangzhou fans. I also hope to give the Super League more excitement!”
However, the absence of Paulinho next season could prove to be a huge blow for Ernesto Valverde’s men. The 29-year-old played a huge role in their title-winning campaign but most importantly, he provided a physical presence in midfield, which Barcelona were lacking for quite a long time.
His aggression coupled with his knack for scoring goals added an extra dimension to Blaugrana’s overall gameplay.
On the flip side, Paulinho’s departure could allow the Catalan giants to officiate the pending arrival of Arthur. It is understood that Barcelona have a deal in place for the Gremio midfielder, who is a promising talent and can strengthen their creative unit.
In addition, the Spanish champions have struggled to register non-EU players into the team due to La Liga’s regulation. But, with Paulinho’s departure to China and Yerry Mina’s potential exit, it could open the door for future signings.
As for Paulinho himself, it seems to be a logical move considering the fact that he will turn 30 later this month. Thus, his prospects of further establishing himself as a regular first-team player at Barcelona were close to none.
But, with a move to Guangzhou, the Brazilian can definitely enjoy proper game time along with a lucrative contract as he enters the final phase of his illustrious footballing career.