Chelsea have beaten Liverpool and Tottenham to the signing of transfer listed Anzhi escapee Willian, as the player chose Stamford Bridge and the Champions League, over White Hart Lane and the Europe League. Willian will sign for the club next week once a work permit is secured.
Spurs were ready to break their transfer fee for a third time this window, as Paulinho and Roberto Soldado recently edged out big names such as Luka Modric and, erm, Darren Bent, in Spurs list of highest fees paid.
Liverpool were first amongst the bidding for the player, but reportedly declined to pay the massive fee commanded by Willian’s agent, Kia Joorabchian. When it comes to spending big money on football players, Liverpool have had their fingers burnt in the not so distant past, so the prospect signing of Willian for £30m was met with some concern by fans. The extra agents fees were also met with some concern by Liverpool’s owners FSG, so much so that they pulled out of the deal.
During his time at Shakhtar Donetsk, Willian proved his talents on a European stage, winning the UEFA Cup in 2009, and impressing in the Champions League for several seasons. This persuaded Anzhi Makhachkala to fork out £30m for his signature, and he’s maintained this value, as you can see.
In Willian, Chelsea are getting a player with a cutting edge in the final third, especially from the left wing slot where he can cut in dangerously onto his stronger right foot. He’s a tricky, pacey, creative player who likes to take on his man, as well as shoot from distance should the opportunity arise.
He’ll also be looking to improve even further as he looks to force his way into the Brazilian national team, and playing alongside his compatriots David Luiz, Oscar, and Ramires at Chelsea could attract the attention of coach Big Phil Scolari.