F.C Barcelona were having a forgettable transfer window until a day back. They lost their star player Neymar Jr. to Paris-Saint Germain for a world record transfer fee. Since then they have been trying to replace the Brazilian but to no avail. But in what is a massive move today, Barcelona have completed the signing of the Borussia Dortmund star, Ousmane Dembele on a 5-year deal.
But amongst all the hullabaloo regarding this transfer, a shock report claiming Barcelona’s interest in Chelsea’s Willian has come to the fore. It is understandable to an extent as the Catalans have to improve on a number of aspects and hence the number of players they are being linked with.
Chelsea are having a torrid time in the transfer market. Their exits and failed pursuits of a number of stars have frustrated manager, Antonio Conte. The Italian has highlighted Chelsea’s lack of squad depth. They have to participate in the European competition too. Thus they need competent squad players. In the midst of all this, this particular rumour is going to do no good to Antonio Conte.
The Brazilian has been a regular member of the National team as well as Chelsea’s squad. Chelsea bought him from Anzhi for a fee of around 35.50 million Euros. During the Roman Abramovich owned side’s dismal campaign in 2015/16, Willian was their sole shining light. He provided the Blues with the thrust desperately needed. This helped them finish in a better position than expected.
Pedro has established himself as the first choice wide forward for Chelsea under Conte. Willian was forced to play in a restricted role. He made only 20 starts in the Premier League. The 29-year old took an average 1.12 shots on target in every match. In the Premier League, he was involved in 10 goals throughout the season. He scored eight of them and assisted the other two. Willian’s shooting accuracy was an abysmal 34%, though.
Stats Courtesy: Whoscored
What does he bring to Barcelona?
Willian played as a rotational player last year. He was Antonio Conte’s plan B. He was often used to make a difference on the pitch in the latter stages. As a role of a substitute, he excelled in the limited opportunities. His introduction often proved to be decisive for Chelsea. The Brazilian went past the defenders with his searing pace and his dribbling skills have developed over the past few years.
He can play anywhere as an attacking midfielder. He supplied an average 3.1 crosses in every match. Willian likes to cut in from the flanks and do layoffs. His pace on the ball allows him to break the opposition’s defences. Last season, he scored 12 goals and made five assists. These numbers are commendable as he was used as a substitute for most of the time.
So while this deal might take some work to be complete, it is not something we should dismiss beforehand.