Tottenham Hotspur left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto has made a startling confession by revealing that he has no knowledge as to who his new teammate Paulinho is. The Brazilian flew in to London last week to undergo a medical and sign a contract following his £17m move from Corinthians.
Paulinho was an integral part of Brazil's Confederations Cup win last month, scoring two goals in four starts for the men in yellow. The 24-year-old will now ply his trade in the Premier League having scored 13 goals and assisted three for his former club last season. However, Assou-Ekotto, who treats the game as a job reveals that he does not keep himself updated with transfer news when on holiday.
"I don't know what he looks like. I don't know him, I don't follow this kind of news. It's like two or three years ago, Rafael van der Vaart was there in training one day. I said hello to him but I didn't know he was Rafael van der Vaart. I don't understand people who don't understand me [not showing an interest in football]. Most people don't go back home with their job and it's the same for me," Assou-Ekotto told Goal.
The defender will join the club's pre-season training later this month and wants to make a better start in order to press for a Champions League spot next season. Tottenham missed out on qualifying for the Europe's biggest tournament for two seasons in succession to local rivals Arsenal in spite of having a commendable lead over them in both instances.
Last season, Spurs finished the league on 72 points, one point behind Arsenal on 73, having taken a seven point lead in the beginning of March following their 2-1 win at White Hart Lane.
"The target is the Champions League because it's the best competition in the world. I hope this season we will start the season from the first minute because last year we had a poor start and when you see the results at the end of the season, we missed out by one point. This season we will have to be at 200 per cent focus," he added.