Brazilian playmaker Willian has become a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea attacking midfielder Willian has explained how he provides an attacking threat but also aims to do the dirty work in a bid to help his team.
The Brazilian international joined the Blues from Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala for a reported £32 million in the summer of 2013 and immediately became an integral part of Jose Mourinho’s team.
His arrival in West London was greeted with high optimism but with the extra added pressure due to his reported resemblance to his Brazilian idol Ronaldinho.
However, it soon became apparent that Willian and the former Barcelona man have very different qualities despite the current Stamford Bridge favourite acknowledging his attacking intentions.
“Everyone knows my qualities and what type of player I am with the ball. I always like to go forward, to accelerate away from players while dribbling with the ball and to try and get a shot away,” he told Chelsea.com.
After initially winning his place in Mourinho’s XI last season, a number of fans in West London criticised the decision to leave out former fan favourite Juan Mata as a consequence.
Yet it isn’t the former Shakhtar Donetsk star’s attacking intuition which makes him a key cog in the Blues’ team now, it is his brilliance in defending and the ability to win the ball back in the final third.
|Position||Team||Tackles Won GAME||Ball Recoveries GAME||Appearances||Mins Played|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, the hard work done by the Blues’ attacking quartet is illustrated by their number of tackles and ball recoveries on average per Premier League fixture.
Willian seemingly understands the importance of this side of his game and explains the benefits of applying high pressure and how it helps the team.
“When we lose possession it’s important to try to retrieve the ball back quickly – not just me but the other attacking players as well,” he added.
“We all try to press the opposition when they have the ball because it stops them from settling in a game. Also, if we can win the ball back in dangerous areas it benefits our attacking play. It’s positive for our game.”