Paulinho – Samba for Zorya Luhansk

Paulinho – Samba for Zorya Luhansk

The Ukrainian sports page Tribuna has reported that Zorya Luhansk have signed the Brazilian Paulo Victor, better known as Paulinho, on a free transfer from the Brazilian champion Sport Club Corinthians Paulista.

Paulinho, however, spent the last season on loan at Associação Portuguesa de Desportos in the Série C (Brazil’s third division). Corinthians English told Futbolgrad that Paulinho was once a promising winger at Corinthians, but only managed ten games in which he scored no goals.

Furthermore, Paulinho has been out on loan at three different clubs—América Futebol Clube (ten matches, one goal), Rio Claro Futebol Clube (14 matches, one goal), and finally the above mentioned Portuguesa (nine matches, two goals).

The Brazilian’s agent, Luiz Carvalho, told UOL Sport that “Corinthians proposed a renewal of [Paulinho’s] contract for one more season, but the Ukrainians offered a two year deal, which ultimately was more attractive.”

Zorya Luhansk are currently third in the Ukrainian Premier League, and have been one of the few positive stories in Ukrainian football. In August, the club narrowly missed the group stage of the Europa League and then, in December, the club took a decisive stance against match-fixing by suspending several youth players who were involved in throwing matches.

Zorya recently lost Ruslan Malinovsky—who was on loan from Shakhtar Donetsk—to the Belgium club KRC Genk and Paulinho is supposed to fill the gap left by Malinovsky.

It will be interesting to see how the winger will fare at Zorya, as he will be the only South American player in the squad. Yet the move to Ukraine could pay off for Paulinho. Zorya are widely considered a feeder team to Shakhtar Donetsk, and if he plays well for Luhansk, Paulinho could quickly find himself on the radar of Shakhtar’s scouting team, especially given the history that Shakhtar has with Brazilian players.

By Manuel Veth –