£30 million star who snubbed Chelsea ready to prove himself right

Anzhi V Liverpool

Willian decided not to hold out for a move to Chelsea, and move to Anzhi Makhachkala instead in January.

Willian is not a player who treated Chelsea well in 2012/13.

He helped dump them out of the Champions League, starring home and away against them in the group stages. Even though he couldn't prevent a 3-2 loss at Stamford Bridge, he inspired Shakhtar Donestsk to victory over them in the Ukraine, which cost the Blues important points and condemned them to the Europa League.

The playmaker had long been linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge, and there was talk about a potential January or summer move, but the player decided to get impatient in January and go on strike.

When Shakhtar signed Taison as a replacement, another player linked with the Blues, the door was clear for Willian to leave but the Brazilian decided he could not wait for them to make a move.

Despite all his posturing claiming he wanted to move to London, he ended up swapping Ukraine for Russia, and the Champions League for the Europa League.

Instead of a Champions League second round clash against Dortmund, Willian decided Anzhi's Europa League campaign was more tempting; but while Chelsea march on in the semi-final against Basel later this month; Willian is already eliminated - having been so by Newcastle United in the alst 16.

Not that he could do much about it, after helping them to victory over Hannover in the round of 32, he was injured against Newcastle and played just over 20 minutes across two legs.

The hamstring injury has kept him out ever since, playing just one Russian Premier League game until yesterday.

Willian returned to action for Anzhi yesterday, in their game away to Volga Nizhny Novgorod.

The big spenders kept their faint title hopes alive with a 3-0 win, with Willian getting on the scoresheet for the first time for the club, in the 72nd minute of the game to round off the win.

It was their first win in five games, but remain 10 points off leaders CSKA Moscow. The mission for Willian is to prove himself right not to hold out for the English Premier League is just beginning.

image: © eamoncurry

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