In one of the most mind-boggling transfer rumours of the season, Willian has been linked with Barcelona – the Brazilian isn’t even good enough for Chelsea
Willian has had a lot of ups and downs over the past few seasons, but his downs have more than hindered everything else he could have offered. The Chelsea-man now finds himself being linked with a move to FC Barcelona in one of the most ridiculous transfer rumours of the winter window.
Willian has certainly been important for Chelsea, especially under José Mourinho and in Antonio Conte’s first season. But his problems have been many, especially his inconsistency, low end-product and awful decision-making which often kills important counter-attacks for the Blues. It’s not difficult to see why fans want to get rid of him, in the favor of a younger winger with more goals to his game.
Willian might have scored the winner against Newcastle United this weekend, but a few glimpses of brilliance cannot overshadow a whole season. The fact of the matter is that the Brazilian has merely scored three goals and mustered three assists in 21 English Premier League appearances, 19 of which he was a starter. To put things into perspective, three goals in 19 starts for an attacking player is certainly not enough from a regular at Chelsea.
Why would Barcelona want the 30-year old? Well, if reports were to be true, Ernesto Valverde is a fan of the Brazil international’s work-rate and ability to sacrifice for the team for the greater good of everyone. The Spaniard is the type of manager who is keen on a strong work-ethic and high-pressing and/or tracking back to recover possession. Ousmane Dembelé is finally succeeding at Barça, but if we go back a few weeks, the French talent faced a lot of problems with his manager. Valverde most probably deems Willian as the tactically more mature between the two.
However, Dembelé’s talent is clearly superior and Barcelona fans would never forgive their manager for bringing in an attacker for his defensive contribution, at the expense of skill. In comparison, Ousmane has already scored seven times and provided assists in La Liga in this campaign, having played four league games less than his rumored competitor from England.
Likewise, Philippe Coutinho is facing a lot of criticism recently, with the English press strongly linking him with a move to the Premier League, while some go further and claim that Barcelona are looking to use him as part of a swap deal with Paris Saint Germain star Neymar Júnior.
One thing is for sure, Willian isn’t getting any younger and his peak days are behind him. After a very disappointing World Cup where an injured Douglas Costa outclassed him in much less game-time, the Chelsea attacker has now lost the sympathy of both national team and club fans. The damage is almost irreparable. Almost, because we can never say never in football. But the possibility of Willian suddenly transforming himself into a much better footballer is very low, to not say non-existent.
Willian is not good enough for Barcelona nor Chelsea. The smartest decision he could make would be to leave the English side, but to a completely different destination than Barcelona.