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Paulinho has evolved since joining Barcelona from Evergrande - Tite

Brazil coach Tite says Paulinho has got even better since his €40 million summer move to Barcelona.

The midfielder has been a key player for his country since the appointment of Tite, scoring a hat trick in a recent World Cup qualifying win against Uruguay.

His move to Barca from Guangzhou Evergrande initially raised eyebrows, though, with fans of the Catalan club unhappy at the fee being paid for a 29-year-old who had been playing in the Chinese Super League for the last two years.

However, Paulinho has quickly set about silencing the doubters, scoring two goals in his first eight appearances for Barca, including a late winner at Getafe.

"I think that Paulinho is evolving and he is raising his level," Tite said in a news conference ahead of Brazil's qualifier against Bolivia this week. "From my point of view, the reason for that is he's playing in Barcelona's system of support and collaboration.

"He is a box-to-box player, but he has good intuition and perception of play, which are among the best features of his game, so he will do very well for Barcelona."

Paulinho joined Barcelona from Guangzhou Evergrande in the summer.

Sergio Busquets is a player who has been helped by the arrival of Paulinho, with Barca boss Ernesto Valverde opting for a more midfield-focused system following the loss of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain.

It has allowed Barca to start the season with nine consecutive wins, a run which has seen them concede just two goals.

"Playing with various midfielders assures you will have the ball, possession and superiority in the middle of the pitch and that can only be good," Busquets said in an interview with Mundo Deportivo. "Personally, maybe I'm a little more protected [now] and it's true that I feel good, comfortable this season.

"Midfield players can influence the game a lot and the more compact a team is, the better. And on a personal level, it makes things easier for me.

"I don't know what the statistics say, but the feeling we have is that if we're closer together, if we're a more compact team, it's difficult for teams to create chances and score goals [against us] and that's what we're seeing.

"It's good for the team and it's good for me. To be a solid and compact side is going to help us fight for titles."

Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.

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