Willian Borges da Silva (Estimated Cost: ~£32m, Market Value: £26m) 25 years old: Right-footed Attacking Midfielder/Winger
Strengths: Like many Brazilians, Willian brings a Samba flair to his game. His dribbling and movement are among the best in the world. He is a hard worker and works well on the wings. He’s a well-above average crosser into the box, something Chelsea are lacking a little bit. His movement off the ball is strong and he puts himself in great positions for attacks. He has potential to develop into a very dangerous counter attacker.
Weaknesses: Willian is a good passer but falls far short of Hazard, Mata, Oscar and even De Bruyne. Arguably the worst quality he has is his finishing ability. He has a poor goal scoring record of 40 goals in 287 games across all competitions. He’s not a great shooter of the ball. He has no defensive ability whatsoever and is no stronger than Mata. His stamina is suspect as he only played the full 90 minutes in 12 out of 35 games last season, including being subbed off 16 times.
Need to Knows:
- Willian has just two caps for Brazil, the first coming on November 10, 2011 as a sub against Gabon.
- He is a Chelsea supporter and once said that it was his dream to play for Chelsea.
- During his first season at Anzhi he was managed by former Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink and played with former left back/winger Yuri Zhirkov.
- In the 5 1/2 years Willian played for Shakhtar the team collected 11 domestic titles, including 4 League titles. (They would go on to win a 5th the year he left.)
- Willian had been a target of Chelsea for a few years before they submitted a bid last season
- Willian has 3 assists in 4 games this season so far for Anzhi as they sit in 15th place with 4 losses and 2 draws in 6 games.
- He was born in a small city in Sao Paulo and played for Corinthians during his youth
Overall Grade: D. It’s extremely difficult to give a player such a low rating but no one can really explain what purpose Willian serves. Did Mourinho need a big name to stamp his authority? Is Abramovich really just getting back at Levy? Are we not happy with Mata, De Bruyne, Schurrle and Moses? Logic says that Mourinho brought him in to replace Moses but Moses looked pretty good in preseason. Willian’s best attribute is creating for others, not scoring. I could understand if we brought in a scoring playmaker. He reminds me a lot of a younger Malouda, something that can be taken as either an insult or a compliment.
Worst of all is his cost. He’s not a £32m player. He doesn’t do anything better than a player we currently have and he doesn’t bring in anything different. As a fan of the Ukrainian League, I was excited about him a few years ago but after years of watching Mkhitaryan completely outshine him, I couldn’t justify more than a £15m pricetag. He might have already hit his ceiling. I think he was an absolutely perfect buy for Liverpool, okay buy for Tottenham but a poor buy for Chelsea. I wish him the best but I feel Emenalo completely missed on this one.