Paulinho continues Barcelona’s trend of being weird in the transfer market

Neymar, Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o – these are some of the players you think of when you think of great Barcelona transfers but for every Ballon d’Or winner, there are a few massive duds.

Whilst their El Clasico rivals Real Madrid have had their fair share of transfer question marks (see Julian Faubert and Thomas Gravesen) not too many clubs have signed players for the sake of it and got it so badly wrong as much as FC Barcelona.

Whilst the focus in Catalunya this summer is the fallout of losing one of their biggest stars in Neymar, their first major incoming of the post-Neymar Barcelona appears to Paulinho from Guangzhou Evergrande for €40m.

Whilst the former Spurs midfielder is in no way going to be the straight Neymar replacement, his signing is odd, to say the least.

Signed by Andre Villas-Boas for Spurs using the Gareth Bale windfall after impressing for Corinthians in native Brazil, winning both the Copa Libertadores and FIFA Club World Cup, the midfielder was a flop at White Hart Lane lasting only two seasons in North London before becoming one of the first major signings in China.

His career in China has improved, reaching double figures in both his full seasons in Asia and winning the AFC Champions League in 2015 and the Chinese Super League in 2015 and 2016 and the FA Cup in 2016.

However, the fact he struggled to prove himself at a higher level in Europe makes this transfer rather questionable for a Barcelona side that look like they could be the victim of a sustained period of domination by Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid.

Of course, Barcelona have looked to do good business this summer, should they sign either Ousmane Dembele or Liverpool’s Phillippe Coutinho, whilst not instant Neymar replacements either will be decent additions to their attacks.

However, as much as their youth policy is praised, sometimes their transfer policy causes a lot of head scratching.