Scout report: Willian Borges da Silva
After spending just about an hour in Cobham’s press conference room, Mourinho dashed all the dreams Tottenham had of finding a replacement for Gareth Bale . Spurs had done absolutely everything, from flying him and fixing him a hotel room, to taking an early medical before signing the contract.
However, reportedly, Roman Abramovich’s connections with Anzhi Makhachkala‘s Russian owner helped the West London outfit secure the highly-rated Brazilian’s signature.
He was stolen away from Corinthians by Mircea Lucescu, the Shakhthar manager, who in adherence with the club’s policies, was ravaging the South American continent for cheap and talented football players.
He went on to win the Ukranian League four times and the UEFA Cup in the middle of 2009. He hit the spotlight with some beautiful performances in the Champions League, especially against his expected new club, Chelsea
At the age of 24, right before entering the age many experts believe that a wide midfielder can experience his best playing days, he moved to Russia and covered himself with rubles.
Michael Emenalo, the technical director at Chelsea Football Club, has been a long term admirer of Willian’s talent. He firmly believes that if the young Brazilian is to don the famous blue jersey, then he can make it big.
On comparison, you can clearly say that when he was at Corinthians, he was known as the poor man’s Joe Cole. Fantastic ability to get past any defender that presses him.
His immense dribbling is now being compared to national compatriot and Barcelona’s newest acquisition , Neymar. He is very pacy, which makes him a delight to watch when he’s running down the flanks with the ball at his feet.
He usually cuts in, and unleashes a fierce shot at goal. However, his eye looks out more for an assist rather than a shot. He is primarily a creative force , with Adriano having to take the responsibility of getting the goals at Shakhtar.
In five games for Anzhi, he has had a shot accuracy of 100%, 16 chances created and an 85% average pass accuracy. Moreover, he has an immense amount of work-rate, often coming back to defend for the full-backs to help them out with defending.
Pace, trickery and loads of Samba-styled flair. All packed in 5 feet and 8 inches.
He hasn’t scored yet for Anzhi. Apart from that, he has only 21 goals in 151 appearances. He isn’t meant to be a player who can bring home the goals. He depends on his turn of pace, and precise passing ability to split apart a defence.
If a team expects him to score every game, then they’re going to be disappointed. One doesn’t see much sense why Andre-Villas Boas would look at the Brazilian to be a replacement for Gareth Bale. He makes marauding runs, cuts in , but is more likely to look for an assist than shoot.
Where will he fit in?
At Shakhtar, he was usually deployed on the left wing. This enabled him to get forward and cut inside when the full-backs when pushing up to provide width.
As mentioned before, he also comes back to defend, a characteristic that Mourinho requires from his creative players. Moreover, he has also played in the number 10 role when asked to. You could sum it up by saying that he is versatile and can play anywhere across the midfield with decent defensive attributes.
He is perfect for counter-attacking, but considering that Mourinho’s philosophy revolves around possession, Willian and his high passing attributes can be put to good use.
Overall, Willian is one of the un-tapped resources of world football. One will never understand why he chose Anzhi, but he gets a chance to resurrect his career. If he cements a first team spot at Stamford Bridge or White Hart Lane, Brazil and Luiz Felipe Scolari will come calling. It’s a win-win situation for the player and the club.
At Chelsea though, many don’t see sense on why we’ve gotten him. We have a plethora of attacking midfielders, and with Willian’s arrival, it just about increases. If Chelsea were to make a list of all the attacking midfielders they had at the club, i.e. the first team squad, reserves and under-18’s, then Chelsea could field an entire starting 11. Jose had also said that he expects to see atleast one player go out on loan if Willian’s capture is successful,
The most likely candidate to suffer that is Victor Moses. The Nigerian winger isn’t expected to make a great deal of impact under Mourinho, and many would have him go away to make space for the Brazilian. Willian can also play in the number 10 role, so he just increases Chelsea’s depth, something they lacked last year. The future is bright, and the future is most definitely blue.