Willian: Why Shakhtar Donetsk Star Would Be a Great Addition for Chelsea

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIJanuary 17, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07:  Willian of Shakhtar Donetsk celebrates after scoring their first goal during the Champions League match between Chelsea and Shakhtar Donetsk at Stamford Bridge on November 7, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Chelsea transfer target Willian could be a step closer to joining the Blues, as Shakhtar Donetsk are believed to be considering offers from the London club.

The Ukrainian champions are reportedly considering offers of £20 million or more from either Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur—both of of whom have been interested in the playmaker for some time now.

Per The Independent:

Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk will consider selling Brazilian playmaker Willian to Chelsea or Tottenham this month but they will be demanding about £20 million.

Willian is the star of the Shakhtar side who qualified for the knock-out phase of the Champions League at the expense of Chelsea but he remains keen on a move to the Premier League. Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu has expressed his displeasure with him for failing to return from Brazil on time for the club’s winter training camp.

Shakhtar’s have no need to sell due to their financial backing, but the £12.4 million signing of Taison, a similar type of player from Metalist Kharkhiv last week gave a clue about their thinking.

Having played against Willian in the Champions League group stage this season, Chelsea know exactly what they would be getting in the 24-year-old.

They watched his talent, his raw skill and his ability to carve open defenses with a blistering turn of pace, and they clearly admire those things in him.

Andre Villas-Boas of Tottenham has been interested in the Shakhtar star since he was manager at Stamford Bridge, but with Chelsea's financial backing, you'd think that they would be able to offer a much superior package to that of Spurs.

And should they offer that package, it seems that they could well end up landing the star playmaker, which would be a huge coup for Chelsea.

Willian brings great guile and trickery to his game—either out on the left or through the middle—but also brings maturity and control when on the ball.

His ability to work hard in a high-intensity passing offense would contribute greatly to the Blues' midfield, which does love to dominate possession and field position.

Recently voted as the third-best Brazilian player in Europe (per Sambafoot), Willian is no doubt an incredibly talented player who gives Chelsea another great attacking option through midfield, and at just 24 could be a great signing for the future of the club.

The biggest question mark about a potential deal to the West London club would seemingly be his position, and how he would fit in the Blues' squad.

With Chelsea already having what is in essence, three trequartistas or playmakers in their side, you wonder whether they truly need a fourth playmaker in Willan.  Eden Hazard, Juan Mata and Oscar can all rotate throughout midfield and have done to get effect this year—so do the Blues really need to add Willian into the mix there as well?

Were they to sign the 24-year-old star, Willian would most likely feature out on the left, as he has done in every Champions League match this year. He is largely effective on the left flank, but can drift in towards the middle to find space also—similar to what Tottenham's Gareth Bale has been allowed to do this season under Villas-Boas.

Thus with Willian out on the left, Eden Hazard would most likely push into the middle of the field and Juan Mata on the right—leaving talented Brazilian star Oscar on the bench. You couldn't play either of those three any further down the pitch—someone simply has to miss out.

That's the problem with having such a good team, but for Chelsea, you sense that it's a problem they'd be willing to have at this point in the year.

Already knocked out of the Champions League and on the verge of missing out in the Capital One Cup, the Blues need a strong performance in the latter half of the season to ensure they still gain something from the 2012-13 season.

They are in a close race for a top-four spot in the Premier League and will be desperate to prove themselves in the Europa League also—two competitions for which Willian would provide drastic improvement and assistance.

And let's be honest here, £20 million really isn't that much when we're talking about Chelsea, who have spent close to £2 billion in the past two years.

£20 million for a player that could turn out to be the difference between Champions League football next season or not seems like a very easy decision to make. Especially when he's 24, genuinely talented and helps those around play to their best.

Willian would definitely be a great signing for Chelsea.


Will Chelsea make a move for Willian this transfer window?

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