With Willian once again bailing Chelsea out of trouble in the Champions League last week, the importance of the mercurial Brazilian is becoming more apparent by the day.
Amidst the Blues' highly publicised debacle this season, Willian has been defying the odds to produce consistently fantastic performances. He is proving such a star that, given the Blues’ current form, he is becoming too good for Mourinho’s side.
If Chelsea do miss out on a top four place, fears will seep in that their Brazilian ace may flee in search of Champions League football.
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There is little debating that Willian is passionate about the club he represents; the forward’s Instagram is littered with Chelsea-related posts. As a result, the 27-year-old would not leave Stamford Bridge for just any old reason.
However, when you consider Chelsea’s monumental implosion this season, who could blame Willian for turning to the exit? After all, never before have the Premier League champions been seen languishing so low this far into a season.
It would take exceptional circumstances for Willian to toy with the idea of leaving, but the Blues are certainly experiencing such a scenario.
TOO GOOD TO STAY
Willian shouldn't allow his career to stall because of loyalty to Chelsea. If the club fail to clamber into the top four, he would simply prove too good to be absent from Europe.
Equally, the same could be said for world-class players such as Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa. However, their performances haven’t warranted Champions League qualification when compared to Willian’s heroic exploits and faultless effort.
If Mourinho’s men were to execute the impossible and make the top four, Willian would undoubtedly prove the catalyst for a late season charge.
The Brazilian’s breathtaking form in Europe exemplifies his importance to Chelsea. Every time the club has scored in the Champions League this season, Willian has been on the score sheet - despite his midfield role he is the club's top scorer.
Yet despite his upmost efforts, the 27-year-old simply cannot do the job on his own and Chelsea are still engulfed by a vicious cycle of defeats in the league.
There's little doubting that Willian wants to stay at Chelsea and the Blues certainly respect the Brazilian’s loyalty, but the winger may ultimately be left with no choice.
The Brazil international is in the prime of his career and should not allow a dysfunctional collection of teammates to hamper his progress.
Therefore, if Chelsea were to miss out on Europe, the squad would not deserve nor warrant the commitment of such a majestic player.
As long as his colleagues fail to demonstrate a similar work ethic, the Brazilian will owe them less and less. As the days rumble on, the motives for Willian to remain at Chelsea are declining.
After such a storming start to the season, a plethora of European juggernauts will be lurking to snap up the tricky winger and unless Chelsea resurrect their season, he may well flee a sinking ship.