An Imagined Dialogue Between Josep the Barça Fan and Jake the Tottenham Fan Regarding Barcelona’s Move to Sign Ghangzhou Evergrande Midfielder Paulinho
Josep: Hey, we’re trying to sign a midfielder from Tottenham.
Jake: YOU STAY AWAY FROM CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN.
Josep: Sorry, used to play for Tottenham. It’s this Brazilian midfielder, plays in China, I think. What’s he like?
Jake: Wait you’re trying to sign Paulinho?
Josep: That’s the rumor. What does he do?
Jake: Umm. Huh. (thinks) Well, he finds dangerous positions in the box?
Josep: Oh, good. A goal-scoring midfielder. That’s what Andre Gomes was supposed to be. We need one of those.
Jake: He doesn’t score goals.
Josep: But you said he gets into dangerous positions in the box?
Josep: But he doesn’t score goals?
Josep: What does he do?
Jake: Miss the goal.
Josep: ... So, umm, is he a good passer? He’s Brazilian. Is he like David Luiz or Oscar?
Jake: No, not really. Turns the ball over a ton, actually.
Josep: Oh. Is he good defensively like Casemiro? Maybe we could push Busquets forward and he could play the holding role?
Jake: Bad idea.
Josep: (getting frustrated) Does he progress the ball well? Someone who can get the ball in midfield and help push it forward to the MSN would be huge.
Jake: Not really. Kinda crap at dribbling.
Josep: Well, you said he’s not a great holding mid like Casemiro. But maybe we could play him next to Busquets and Busquets can be the deep regista type and Paulinho can buzz around him breaking things up?
Jake: No, he’s pretty lazy defensively. That’s not the right job for him.
Josep: So he doesn’t really do anything?
Jake: Not really.
Josep: What about, like, scoring worldies from outside the box that cause people to consistently overrate him?
Jake: That’s Phillipe Coutinho you’re thinking of.
Josep: So Paulinho doesn’t do that?
Jake: He never did for us!
Josep: Sooooo why are we trying to sign him?
Jake: He gets into dangerous positions in the box?
Josep: You just said he doesn’t score goals.
Jake: Well, not for us.
Josep: He never scored for you guys?
Jake: Not really!
Josep: But, like, we have Messi, Suarez, and Neymar. If the only thing a guy does is score goals... well, we can do better.
Jake: You would think so.
Josep: Wait, is this some kind of evil plot by Daniel Levy? He totally included a clause when you sold him to Guangzhou saying you guys get a chunk of his transfer fee whenever he leaves, right?
Jake: (thinks) ... (smiles) ... Most likely yes.
Josep: So we’re going to spend a bunch of money on a 28-year-old midfielder who doesn’t really do anything and the only people that benefit will be a Chinese oligarch and you guys.
Jake: Most likely. ... Thanks, by the way!