Five things Willian will add to Liverpool

Liverpool Supporters

Brendan Rodgers remains confident of signing Willian from Anzhi Makhachkala, further improving Liverpool’s squad.

He’s a player that Liverpool have been strongly linked with following the news of a fire-sale at the Russian club and they need to get their business done quickly if they are to stop Tottenham Hotspur from outbidding them for the Brazilian.

Liverpool have a very exciting team at the moment, filled with players who are good in possession, like to create chances and build a lot of pressure over the opposition until cracks start to appear in the defence.

Should Liverpool hold off a challenge from Spurs for the playmaker then they will have another player who can improve their team in a number of ways.

Passing

Willian already has a passing success rate of over 80% based on Russian Premier League matches this season.

Any modern player who plays for Liverpool has to be able to control and move the ball well, not giving away possession because Brendan Rodgers bases his tactics around ball retention and Willian would slot right into that ethos.

Assists

It’s important for any attacking midfielder to be able to create and provide assists for strikers to score.

Willian has three assists from four league matches so far this season, which proves he doesn’t panic and he makes the right decisions in the final third of the pitch.

It can be very easy for some attacking midfielders to simply set their eyes on goal when they get into advanced positions so it’s an undoubted positive that he would bring to the table.

Versatility

Predominantly, Willian is an attacking midfielder but he can play effectively down the left wing, which is significant considering Liverpool have just let Stewart Downing go to West Ham.

That width he can offer is important because there are times when Liverpool may get a little bit narrow and need an extra outlet. This season, he’s putting 3.3 crosses into the box per game which find their target so he can be equally effective in terms of assists playing as a winger.

Philippe Coutinho

Willian not only offers a replacement to Philippe Coutinho when he’s not available, he offers a potentially devastating partnership which Liverpool can take advantage of.

Tactically, the pair of them playing together gives Liverpool a much better chance of keeping the ball inside the opponent’s defensive third.

Liverpool have other players who can do the dirty work in terms of winning the ball back but the pair of them playing in behind Luis Suarez or Daniel Sturridge means a very daunting proposition for any defence.

Aggression

That’s not to suggest that Willian isn’t an aggressive player because he is. His stats from Russian league games this season show that he makes just under two important tackles per game.

It’s important Liverpool have someone who can not only be effective in an attacking sense but someone who can also switch on and be aggressive when he needs to, to prevent counter attacks.

How important do you think signing Willian is for Liverpool?

image: © ekilby

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch