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How Good Is: Chelsea and Tottenham Target Willian

Posted on Aug 23rd, 2013 by Amrit Nagi

Brazilian attacking midfielder Willian is reportedly on the cusp of joining Tottenham or having his £30m move hijacked by Chelsea according to various reports, and there is good reason why so many top clubs are chasing his services.

Willian: Top 100 Attacking Midfielder
Having made just 11 appearances for for Anzhi after a reported £30m move from Shakhtar Willian, could well be on the move again with current club Anzhi having hit financial trouble which resulted in all of their assets being put on the transfer list. One of their most highly rated men Willian is on the radar of multiple top clubs in Europe including Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool.

His goal contribution tally of one per 165 minutes is top notch for a player in his position. Even though it's some way off the 91 minute average achieved by Gareth Bale over the past two seasons he does fair better than the 192 minutes on offer by the likes of Coutinho and is substantially better than Aaron Lennon's average of a goal made or scored for every 220 minutes of career game time.

The closest match we could find to him was Chelsea's Andre Schurlle who clocks in with 162 minutes per goal contributed.

League Record
Willian's league record has been consistent throughout his career, he's almost always worth around 5 league goals, but he has risen to prominence thanks to the acceleration in his creative play over the past few seasons. In 2011/12 5 goals and 16 assists gave him a an excellent tally of a goal for every 98 minutes of game time and he produced similar numbers the following season. He might not be as regular a scorer as the likes of Hazard, Bale and Mata but his ability to create goals is on par with all of those players.

Champions League
Given that his time in Europe has been entirely spent in Russia and Ukraine, Willian has a decent amount of top level experience having made 30 appearances in the Champions League. Willian has excelled at the top level too. His 8 goals and 8 assists gives him a a goal for every 140 minutes played which is an excellent record at that level and does hint that he possesses big game mentality that would serve him well in the Premier League. He has also made an additional 20 appearances in the Europa League/UEFA Cup.

He has only made 2 full appearances for Brazil and isn't currently considered as part of Scolari's squad, but another great season with a top club could see him make a late break through.

Our Rating
165 minutes per goal contributed might leave him well short of the world's best wide attacking players who can target the 100 minute mark but this is largely down to his goal scoring record. When it comes to creativity he may well be up there with the best. His excellent Champions League record does suggest he can really pull out the stops for the big games and with the right motivation he could yet become a world class player even if he is a little way shy of that level right now.

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