Football

Willian offers little to justify price tag

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For a while, it seemed certain that Chelsea's Willian would be heading to Premier League rivals Tottenham.

But for a last-minute £32 million swoop by Jose Mourinho, the Brazilian playmaker would have been strutting his stuff at White Hart Lane, leaving Spurs fans and officials alike furious.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was reportedly fuming at having missed out on one of his top transfer targets - only it's the north London club who have had the last laugh - for now, at least.

As Tottenham signed Christian Eriksen for £11.5 million as a cheaper and seemingly better alternative, Chelsea are looking as though they've splashed the cash on a dud.

When Willian made his Chelsea debut in the Blues' home defeat to FC Basel in the Champions League, he made minimal impact, almost going under the radar altogether.

The 25-year-old has failed to impress in his other fleeting appearances to date - his latest being a Capital One Cup outing away to Swindon. Though Chelsea won 2-0, Willian played a bit-part role and rarely got into the game.

Compare that to the immediate impact that Arsenal's Mesut Ozil made in the wake of his record-breaking switch to the Emirates, as well as the sizeable impression Eriksen made at Spurs, and it makes you wonder whether Chelsea pursued the wrong playmaker.

Willian's debut was a far cry from the previous time he was strutting his stuff at Stamford Bridge - he stole the show during Shakhtar Donetsk's 3-2 defeat last November - a performance that announced his arrival onto the global stage.

On his debut, Willian was eventually substituted in the 67th minute by Juan Mata. With a player of Mata's class sat on the sidelines and unable to get a game himself, it makes Chelsea's decision to buy the ex-Anzhi Makhachkala midfielder all the more baffling.

Granted, it's still early days in Willian's Chelsea career and Mourinho may well be integrating his latest samba star into the first-team over time, but for the time being at least, Willian has it all to do.

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Topics:
Football
Chelsea
Premier League

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