Chelsea’s Willian

Chelsea’s Willian Borges – One Player Whose Career Needs A Resurgence

For a player who was voted both Chelsea Supporters player of the year and players player of the year last season, things has turned sour quickly for Chelsea’s Willian. The Brazilian midfielder was absolutely amazing for the Blues last season but he now finds himself unable to break into Antonio Conte’s starting xi. Its been a difficult year for Willian and his career desperately needs a resurgence.

Since Willian made the trip to play football in Europe in 2007, he had always been a first team regular. At Shakhtar Donetsk he was highly-rated and was a mainstay in the starting xi for the six years he was with the club. He was among the parade of star players who got signed by Anzhi Makhachkala in 2012/2013. After seven months with Anzhi, he joined Chelsea in August 2013 and smoothly eased into Jose Mourinho’s first team.

In 2014, Willian starred prominently for Chelsea as the Blues picked up yet another Premier League title. Willian started twenty-eight games for Chelsea in the Premier League. Although his goal return was quite low for an attacker, with just two goals; he remained highly favoured by Jose Mourinho.

Willian’s best season with Chelsea was, unfortunately, one of their worst; the 2015-16 season. Willian scored five goals and provided six assists in the thirty-five league games he played. He started thirty-two times in the league and also started all eight Champions League matches for the 2014 Premier League Champions.

Chelsea’s Willian desperately needs more playing time

The fact that Willian has actually scored six Premier League goals this season is a testament to the fact that he is still a good player, with an eye for goal. However, Willian has struggled to get a look at under Antonio Conte. Under the Italian gaffer, Willian has only seen 1305 minutes of Premier League action as opposed to the 2751 minutes he played last season, per Whoscored.com. Even if he plays all of the remaining 600 minutes left to play for in the Premier League this season, he still wouldn’t match his number from last season.

It’s difficult for any footballer to cope with the lack of playing time. Being a squad player depreciates a player’s value almost as much as a lengthy injury layoff would. Willian has played twenty-six times for Chelsea in the Premier League this season; thirteen times as a substitute. Last season, he only made three substitute appearance in thirty-five league games.

Without much playing time, Willian’s stock is falling rapidly. His chances of being selected to play for Brazil in the Russia 2018 World Cup is also being threatened.

Pedro’s superb form has also affected Willian’s season. The Spaniard has been in some tremendous form for Chelsea this season and it’s rubbing off on Willian, somewhat negatively. Antonio Conte prefers Pedro in the right wing as opposed to Willian. Pedro has scored eleven goals this season, with seven of those in the Premier League. The former Barcelona star has also provided seven assists in the Premier League.

Willian is a very energetic player whose work-rate is quite commendable. His skill and technique are unquestionable. His ability to deliver wonderful set-piece’ is a joy to watch. However, Willian has not had all the time to show all these this season.

Willian’s options going forward

Following an indifferent season with Chelsea, what options should Willian pursue? Being a Brazilian who can really play, Willian won’t be short of options when the transfer windows reopen this summer.

A move to China to become one of the best-paid footballers in on the planet is an option Willian can explore. However, one begins to wonder how good for his career such a move would be. He’s only 28, and still, has what it takes to succeed with a top side in Europe’s top five leagues.​

Willian could be reunited with Mourinho this summer

During the summer, it was rumoured that Manchester United’s manager, Jose Mourinho was considering a move for Willian. Mourinho has a good relationship with Willian following their time together at Chelsea. Moving to Manchester United is an option for Willian. However, it’s unlikely that Chelsea would want to sell one of their assets to a direct rival. But who knows? They did sell Juan Mata to Manchester United. So, under similar circumstances, no one can rule out the possibility of the Blues doing same with Willian.

Willian also has the option of staying back at Chelsea and fighting for his place. This is the option I’d love him to take. Despite Willian’s season being a bit below his high standard, he remains a gifted player and Chelsea do need him for next season.

As the Premier League rapidly comes to wraps, Willian has to make a decision as fast as possible. One thing is however, certain – Chelsea’s Willian is in need of a lift in his career.

About the Author Kingsley

I am a football/soccer connoisseur who enjoys crafting interesting articles like the one you just read.

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