Chelsea transfer target: Willian

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If yesterday's transfer speculation is to be believed, Skakhtar Donetsk attacking midfielder Willian is the latest player to emerge on the Chelsea radar in January.

After securing the services of Gary Cahill earlier in the month, it appears Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas has now set his sights on the talented Brazilian, who has earned two caps for his country thus far.

With little known about the former Corinthians star in England, GMF decided it was time to place the microscope on the 23-year-old, and assess his credential after the failed bid from Stamford Bridge.


Connections. Before getting into details of the player's skill, it should be noted that Roman Abramovich is friends with Rinat Akhmetov, the billionaire owner of the Ukrainian giants. This could be a positive in any possible negotiations.

Versatility is also a big positive, with the midfielder able to play in both central and wide roles for his club.

Willian has followed a similar path to a number of Brazilians in moving from his homeland to eastern Europe, and proved his ability in both the Ukrainian Premier League and Europe in both the Champions League and Europa League.

At 23, the player has plenty of years ahead of him in a position that's up for grabs in west London, with Frank Lampard currently injured and used sparingly by Villas-Boas. Raul Meireles is the other attacking midfield option in the centre, whilst Salomon Kalou, Florent Malouda, Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata vie for the wider areas in a 4-3-3 formation.

Right footed with a great turn of pace, Willian can beat players down the right flank or cut inside from the left to either cross or sheet. Additionally, the samba star possesses a number of great tricks, with the step-over a regular feature of his play.


Price tag would appear to be an obvious stumbling block, with a £29 million minimum fee release clause in Willian's current deal at the Donbass Arena. That is some way short of the £16.7 million tabled yesterday.

His involvement for Skakhtar in this season's Champions League would also cup-tied the player for Chelsea ahead of their clash with Napoli in the last 16 of the competition.

An undoubted talent, the Brazilian can also be erratic in possession and is prone to being either brilliant or average.


At £29 million, Willian would represent a significant gamble, given his lack of experience in one of Europe's 'big' leagues.

However, his talent makes him an attractive option for any manager, and it's unsurprising that 'AVB' has shown an interest.

If the Blues could negotiate a reduced figure (around £24 million, perhaps), then this player is a risk GMF thinks is worth taking. The fact that he can't play in the Champions League is a negative, but if Chelsea try to sign him in the summer, what difference would it make.

Snap him up.

Premier League

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