There are some players who are easily taken for granted in a game dominated by superstar signings and players. Chelsea’s Willian falls into this category.
Linked with moves to Manchester United and Barcelona, William’s future at The Bridge looks uncertain. However, with Chelsea braced for an assault on the services of Eden Hazard, should they really be trying to keep their talented Brazilian?
Willian has come in to his own during the last three seasons. His quick feet, clever movement and tenacious approach have seen him become one of the most creative players in the Premier League.
Involved in 63 goals in the past three seasons, Willian’s importance for Chelsea is huge. And yet, he has been denied a regular starting berth during the past couple of seasons. Such is the strength of Chelsea’s squad, a player with the skill and experience of Willian has been left to watch from the sidelines.
Perhaps this is playing on his mind as Barcelona are reportedly circling. Surely though Chelsea would be foolish to let him go to a rival club. The Hazard situation is currently ongoing and the London club would be wise to try and keep at least one if their creative players.
Bench to Bench
Willian is a quality player, with the ability to walk into most sides. His ability to turn a game with a moment of brilliance has clearly not gone unnoticed. Neither has his unhappiness at sitting on the bench for key games.
Barcelona’s interest is serious, with the Catalan club making a number of approaches for his signature. The Spanish Champions are in need of reinforcements this summer and will have an eye on the Champions League next season, given their dismal exit to Roma and Real’s recent dominance.
However, given the recent signing of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool for outrageous money, it is clear who currently occupies the starting birth in that position. Willian will be all to aware of the Coutinho’s quality and this may make him wary of a move to Barcelona even with it’s riches and temptations.
He clearly wants to be the main man in the attacking build of a team, he is not getting this at Chelsea presently, so it would be odd for him to move to Barca, without at least some guarantees of a pivotal role in the La Liga outfit. It would be a waste for him to swap one dugout for another and surely at this stage of his career, it would make more sense for him to be playing regularly.
Manchester United are also credited with real interest and Mourinho knows the player from his Chelsea days. However, looking at players like Mata and Rashford, who have struggled for game time in United’s robust approach, it would be unclear if Willian would get the game he so wants.
Shoes to fill
Hazard has reached a new level this season. His performances for club and country have been exemplary. The Belgian is the galvanising force in any team he plays in.
With Champions League football absent from The Bridge, Hazard may be easier to snare away. He would certainly suit Barcelona’s style. In fact he would suit any team such is his quality.
If Hazard does go this summer, he will leave one hell of a void in the Chelsea Midfield. One which they cannot seriously contemplate a new season without plugging. In Willian, they have a player who could step up.
He is already a veteran of two Premier League title winning campaigns, and has played in two World Cups and always cuts a composed figure on the ball. He could step up alongside Jorginho this season to be the key player for Chelsea.
It seems unlikely at this stage that Hazard and Willian will both be allowed to leave the club. With less than three weeks to go of the transfer window, Chelsea will not want to be left high and dry and short of options.
The club could look to sell this situation to the Brazilian in the hope of convincing him to stay and continue his good work at Chelsea. If he is allowed to go, for sure it will be to the benefit of whoever wins the race to sign him.