Would Willian’s signing make Liverpool top-four contenders?

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The Anfield side are believed to be in talks with the Brazil international, who would be a quality addition for Brendan Rodgers’ men.

With all eyes on the Luis Suarez transfer saga this summer, a breath of fresh air for Liverpool fans will be the club’s reported interest in Brazilian attacking midfielder Willian. The South American is one of a host of players available for transfer from Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, who are looking to cut back financially.

The 25-year-old playmaker has long been linked with moves to the Premier League, with Chelsea and Tottenham being the teams most mentioned. Spurs have had attempts to sign the winger fail in the past when he played for Shakhtar Donetsk, while Andre Villas-Boas also unsuccessfully tried to capture Willian whilst he was in charge at Stamford Bridge.

Despite only moving to Anzhi from Shakhtar in January, Willian has constantly been public in his desire to move to the Premier League, and clearly sees the eastern European side as a stepping stone to greater things.

Willian’s latest comments indicate that he would be open to a switch to the Merseyside club, even without Champions League football.

“He (Anzhi owner Suleiman Kerimov) made it clear that, if good bids arrive, he would certainly help us go, Willian stated.

"Now I'm waiting for a new bid to arrive in the next days from a few clubs, like Liverpool.

"If it's really Liverpool, then it is surely a great club. I'm hopeful and very calm, just waiting for the best."

For Liverpool to capture the South American, a fee in the region of £30 million would be needed – matching Anzhi’s outlay at the turn of the year. This amount of money may well be an obstacle for the Merseysiders, but if they were to spend it they would be getting a player of real natural ability.

Willian has consistently performed well for a Shakhtar team that has made strides in the Champions League over the years, and included the likes of Manchester City new boy Fernandinho and Borussia Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Despite other high-profile players in that Shakhtar team, Willian was often the star in the Ukrainian side’s notable wins on the continent.

The 25-year-old’s addition would make Liverpool’s attacking third very interesting, especially if Suarez was to remain at the club. Brendan Rodgers all of a sudden would have the likes of Willian, Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Iago Aspas to choose from – a group of players that are potential capable of firing the Reds into Champions League qualification contention.

Willian’s skill, speed and eye for a killer ball would make him a real crowd favourite with the Kop, and would give Liverpool another attacking player of the highest pedigree this season.

Although it is early days in the potential transfer, being linked with players of Willian’s quality is a positive thing for Liverpool, and his capture would make them a real threat in the hunt for a top four place.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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