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Willian’s Brilliant Season Proves How Chelsea Know How to Play the Transfer Market

willian Willians Brilliant Season Proves How Chelsea Know How to Play the Transfer Market

Chelsea over the festive period unleashed a new weapon on the Premier League. That weapon was thought by many, myself included, to simply be a “tactical” purchase last summer by Jose Mourinho to prevent the player from joining Tottenham Hotspur. That player’s name is Willian.

The Brazilian winger could play a key role this weekend against Manchester United if selected by Mourinho. The style long advocated by the Chelsea manager involves two-way players who can move the ball quickly and also defend well. Towards the end of the summer window, Willian’s acquisition from cash-starved Anzhi gave the Chelsea manager an attacking option that fits his style. While at the time many believed this was largely a spiteful move towards Andre Vilas-Boas and Spurs, the signing has proven to be inspired.

Blending Willian into the team over time was always going to cost Juan Mata and also André Schürrle playing time. But my thinking was that Willian was simply being paid to not play for Spurs and to provide cover for the team. Instead he’s become a key figure in bigger matches for the Blues. His work rate and willingness to track opposing players into the defensive half have made him a perfect fit for Mourinho’s preferred style of soccer.

Willian’s defensive work rate comes in addition to his creativity, which has manufactured more chances for Chelsea over the last six games than any midfielder for the Blues outside of Eden Hazard. The increased creativity of the Chelsea’s wide players have created a situation where defenders are being pinned back, having to compensate for the runs of Willian and Hazard.

Two months ago, the idea of Willian being as key figure in the Chelsea-Manchester United was unthinkable. Instead he has become one of the most influential figures at Stamford Bridge in a short period of time.  His signing and subsequent integration into the Chelsea side proves once again Jose Mourinho is never to be doubted with judging players and playing the transfer market.

For more Blues news, analysis and opinion, visit the Chelsea team page.

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About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

11 Responses to Willian’s Brilliant Season Proves How Chelsea Know How to Play the Transfer Market

  1. Duck says:

    Two words…Fernando Torres

    • Flyvanescence says:

      Has Torres lived up to his £50 price tag? Absolutely not.

      Has he been an important player for Chelsea the previous 2 seasons? Definitely.

      Since Chelsea have more money than they know what to do with, Torres was still not a terrible signing.

    • Ken says:

      A better 2 would be David Moyes.

  2. ASL says:

    What a useless article of absolute drivel. From the title onwards its just garbage. Brilliant season??? He has started 7 EPL games, and been a sub in 5. Scored 2 whole goals and not done a whole lot else. Whoever wrote this has absolutely no footballing knowledge and the fact they think that Willian is a key figure is just laughable. Give up with Journalism mate, you really aren’t cut out for it.

  3. Sir Cecil says:

    Your nonsense about thinking Willian’s purchase was a move to “spite” Tottenham shows that you are an immature writer who can’t think sensibly. Why should we listen to what such a puerile mind now has to say?
    Chelsea bid (yes, BID, not just enquired) for Willian in FOUR previous transfer windows before finally getting their man.
    If anyone was trying to hijack anything, it was Spurs and AVB who knew of Chelsea’s interest from during (and before!) his time there.

  4. Andre says:

    Chelsea have an obscene amount of money and like to spend it. Sometimes they get it right, sometime they get it wrong. The Willian signing does virtually nothing to move my opinion of Chelsea’s transfer policy in either direction.

  5. A Miller says:

    Shrewd in the short term? Maybe. But when you’ve got virtually unlimited funds and FFP has no effect on curtailing extravagant spending a player is bound to come along and make an impact…eventually. Let’s see how Willian fares when defenders have him figured out and he’s getting lumps kicked out of him. The question isn’t just how he plays now, but how he evolves as a player when the old tricks are exposed as habits that are stoppable.

  6. Lynch says:

    Do you watch premier league at all???? Willian has had a brilliant season???? Of all the players Chelsea have playing great football you write this make believe article. Just another website that comes under fictional reporting.

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