Brazilian international Willian is enjoying a fine start to life in West London – but can he improve?
The 25-year-old attacking midfielder was a shock last-minute signing for Chelsea as they pipped Tottenham Hotspur to his signature with a late £32m bid.
Many fans were wondering where he was going to fit in at Chelsea, as fellow midfielders Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata were the predominant attacking trio in the starting XI with fellow summer signing Andre Schurrle in reserve.
The Brazilian, however, displayed talents and abilities which granted him a starting place ahead of Spanish international Juan Mata, and despite it being an unpopular decision at first, it has since been seen as a masterstroke by boss Jose Mourinho.
The former Shakhtar Donetsk favourite has taken on board Mourinho’s defend from the front policy. In 14 Premier League starts, he has made 35 tackles and averages more interceptions than his fellow attacking midfielders.
In an interview reported by TalkSport, Willian has admitted that he has been working a lot on his defensive game.
He said: "I have always been told that I am a creative player with lots of strengths in attacking play, but since I arrived here I have tried to develop the defensive side of my game and my marking and it is working for me.”
"When I moved to Europe, I started developing my defensive skills, because when I was playing in Brazil we were only thinking about attack and offensive play."
The defensive work in Willian’s game is arguably his biggest asset, but for a Brazilian attacking midfielder, isn’t that odd?
So far this campaign, he has only notched two Premier League goals and one assist. When asked what he could do better, Willian admits that the famed Brazilian attacking instincts are slightly lacking:
"I feel I could score more goals and set up more goals for other people. I am happy with what I have done this season, but I still think I could do more for Chelsea."
Does Willian create enough goals for an attacking midfielder?