Chelsea playmaker Oscar admits he is surprised by the lack of playing time handed to his compatriot Paulinho by Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino.

The Brazilian midfielder arrived at White Hart Lane in summer 2013 for £17m as part of the overhaul made by Andre Villas-Boas following Gareth Bale's departure to Real Madrid.

Having starred during Brazil's Confederations Cup triumph weeks before, the midfielder quickly become a regular for Villas-Boas and he also played an important role during Tim Sherwood's tenure, making a total of 30 Premier League appearances during his first campaign at north London.

However, the Brazil international has fallen out of favour of the new manager, who has opted instead to trust academy star Ryan Mason.

Paulinho is yet to start a Premier League game this campaign and his only starting appearances have come in the Europa League and the Capital One Cup.

While the return to action of Nabil Bentaleb may even worsen his situation in the coming months, Paulinho recently admitted he is considering leaving the club during the January transfer window.

"Players always want to play. I am participating in few games at Tottenham. Maybe it is the opportunity to go back," Paulinho told Lancenet.

"There is interest of Brazilian clubs but nothing concrete yet. I am glad to have recognition. I feel proud. Tottenham invested very big money to transfer me there, but I can work or not, like any other player. I do not have to think about transferring, but any player is subject to a transfer when the window opens."

Paulinho was on the bench again during the 3-0 defeat against Chelsea on Wednesday 3 December but replaced Mason in the second half.

Speaking before the London derby about his compatriot's situation, Oscar said: "It's surprising because last season he played so well for them. We are good friends and our families meet up in London sometimes.

"He hasn't started a lot this season but he's been playing more often recently, mainly as a substitute, although he started their Europa League game last week."