Chelsea star Willian is all set to leave the club this summer after failing to agree terms on an extension. The 31-year-old has been a great servant of the Blues since his arrival from Russian outfit FC Anzhi Makhachkala in the summer of 2013 in a transfer fee worth around £30 million.
So far, the Brazilian international has appeared in more than 300 games for Chelsea, winning multiple trophies in the process. Just like every other campaign, Willian has been a regular name in Chelsea’s starting XI this season too, making 37 appearances across all competitions.
However, in a recent interview with Expendiente Futebol, the versatile winger has revealed that his time with the London giants is on the verge of coming to an end as negotiations over a new deal have ended without an agreement.
“With Chelsea, it’s over, everyone knows my contract ends in a few months. A renewal is difficult. Chelsea proposed two extra years and I wanted three. We’re not talking anymore. There won’t be a negotiation.”
So, with multiple European heavyweights, including the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, and Tottenham waiting in the wings to get the service of the 31-year-old, we have tried to analyze, which amongst these three clubs will be the best fit for Willian.
From a tactical point of view, Willian has all the ingredients of being a success at PSG, given his hard-working nature accompanied by an explosive style of play. The 31-year-old will perfectly complement PSG’s attacking brand of football with his quick feet, acceleration, and agileness. Besides, his determination of tracking back will certainly help the Parisian giants, given several of their attacking-minded players don’t duly do their defensive duties.
With Neymar Jr and Kylian Mbappé operating on the flanks, and Ángel Di María and Julian Draxler also in the squad, the Brazilian will have his work cut out in order to be a regular starter for PSG.
Willian will have a much better chance of playing a key role if he decides to join Mikel Arteta’s side instead of PSG. Arsenal are still in search of an out-and-out winger who can occupy the left-flank in their attacking third to cut into his favourite right foot and feed players like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.
Moreover, Willian’s prowess in dead-ball situations could come handy for the Gunners. With Nicolas Pépé on the other side, the Brazilian winger can stretch the game with ease, and this is exactly what Arsenal need at this moment, as they have often been criticized by a section of football pundits for being too narrow on the pitch.
With the Gunners in the middle of a rebuilding process, Willian should think twice before moving to the Emirates at this point in his career. Besides, the possibility of lack of Champions League football for at least a season could play a huge role in Willian turning down a move to north London. And from Arsenal’s point of view, with their eyes fixed on investing more on youth, the signing of a 31-year-old could hamper the upbringing of their youngsters.
Tottenham are the other Premier League outfit on the list, with Spurs credited with showing interest in getting Willian on board on a free transfer. And a move to Tottenham doesn’t seem all bad for the Brazilian, given his previous stint with current Spurs manager José Mourinho at Chelsea.
In fact, it was Mourinho who arguably brought the best out of the winger, giving him a free role on the left with an extensive amount of defensive duties attached to it. Under the Portuguese’s management, Willian scored on 15 occasions, besides providing 14 assists in 114 matches. In Mourinho’s final year at Stamford Bridge, the Brazilian was named Chelsea’s Fans’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year for the 2015-16 season.
With a plethora of attacking midfielders or wingers, including the likes of Son Heung-min, Dele Alli, Lucas Moura, Érik Lamela, Giovani Lo Celso and Steven Bergwijn at their disposal, there is a possibility that Willian will become one of those squad players who Mourinho often use to rest their key men.
After exploring all the pros and cons in detail, we can come to the conclusion that it will be best suited for Willian to join Tottenham, where at least, the work environment is not unknown to the 31-year-old due to Jose Mourinho’s presence. Besides, adjusting in a new league at this point of time in his career could create unnecessary hurdles for the Brazilian.