With Jose Mourinho now confirmed as the new Manchester United manager, the customary rumour mill surrounding the Special One has picked up speed.
Less than a week since the confirmation, a plethora of players have already being linked to Old Trafford. One source of interest has proven one of Mourinho’s ex-players nonetheless in the form of Willian.
Having played under the Portuguese tactician at Chelsea, the Brazilian certainly has a strong relationship with the manager. However, Willian should dispel any temptation to move north and remain in the capital this summer.
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There can be few Chelsea players who can hold their heads up high after the debacle of 2015-16. Willian however, proves one of the few.
The 27-year-old’s electric performances amid a stalling team didn’t go unnoticed and saw him garner the Chelsea Fans’ Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year awards. Frankly, the titles weren’t ever headed to anyone else.
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From midfield, the Brazilian gathered an impressive 11 goals as well as seven assists. His effort could never be faulted and he even scored six times directly from free kicks within the first four months of the season.
As a consequence, it should come as no surprise that a number of clubs have been linked with prying Willian from Stamford Bridge.
Manchester United have proven the main culprits with The Guardian, amongst other publications, drawing the link. Of course, with Mourinho at the reins, it doesn’t take a professional pundit to identify the reasoning behind the rumours.
However, albeit the allure of Old Trafford, Willian should stay put.
The only motive for such a move would be Mourinho and it must be questioned whether that should tempt the Brazilian to jump ship.
In fact, this season proved Willian’s finest at Stamford Bridge and it was his only campaign in west London not played entirely under the wing of Mourinho. While this may be for a multitude of reasons, it’s certainly indicative that playing under the Portuguese isn’t the be all and end all.
The 27-year-old enjoyed playing more offensively in 2015-16, but would be unlikely to enjoy such freedom with Mourinho.
The ex-Real Madrid manager demands tracking back and defending from his wingers. Willian is certainly capable of such a task yet this season finely demonstrates how he is far more dangerous higher up the pitch.
From a purely selfish basis also, the Brazilian is arguably the star man at Chelsea right now. Such affection from the Stamford Bridge faithful is not easily acquired nor a privilege easy to relinquish via a move away.
If Willian is to move to another Premier League side, it should prove one that actually wields Champions League football.
In making a switch to the Red Devils, the only European football gained would prove Thursday night Europa League clashes against far-flung teams. He’d be better off sporting the jersey of a team that can apply more impetus to the Premier League than overcoming the Cypriot champions.
There is cause for optimism at both Manchester United and Chelsea this summer with both sporting new and exciting managers.
While Willian will undoubtedly be tempted by a Mourinho reunion, remaining at Stamford Bridge proves the far better option. Besides, three years down the line and the Special One will be out the door once again and onto his next short-term venture.
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