Willian: facts, stats and analysis of the next Premier League superstar…
With Liverpool desperate to take advantage of Anzhi Makhachkala’s change of financial policy and make Brazilian star Willian their marquee summer signing, fanatix gives you the low down on everything you need to know about the playmaker.
With moneybags Manchester City and Tottenham lurking though, Brendan Rodgers will do brilliantly to secure his man.
-The Brazilian was born in a town outside Sao Paulo in 1988, and was snapped up Corinthians at a very young age.
-In 2006, aged just 18, the wonderkid shot to prominence, wearing the no.10 shirt at the famous Brazilian club and earning himself a spot as a first-team regular. Big European clubs began to circle, but like many young South Americans, Willian moved to Eastern-Europe, after Shakhtar paid €14m for his services.
-For six seasons, Willian shone in Ukraine, winning four league titles, and cementing his reputation among football’s most knowledgeable as one of the best attacking players in Europe. The 25-year-old scored 37 goals in 222 appearances in Ukraine, often cutting in from the left or played directly behind the striker.
-Willian is equally comfortable in both of these roles, and has the pace and trickery to take a defender on the outside, and the vision to sit in the hole behind a striker and dictate play.
-He is technically fantastic, and can carve open defences with zipped through-balls, one-touch flicks and the odd audacious chipped or lofted futsal style pass.
-Willian could be described in the ‘David Silva’ mould, and while he starts games out on the left, he tends to drift in between the lines, floating until he finds space. In no way can he be described as a traditional winger, and can occupy any one of the three attacking spots behind a lone target-man.
-His undoubted ability encouraged Anzhi to shell out €35m on him this January, where he has performed solidly, if not spectacularly. Now that the Brazilian playmaker is available, a Premier League club could acquire an outstanding talent if they are willing to part with £30m.
-Due to the unfashionable Ukrainian league, Willian has only won two caps for Brazil – but he would immediately re-enter Luis Felipe Scolari’s thinking if he started causing havoc for defenders in the Premier League.
Check out some of Willian’s highlights, here: