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Should Willian choose Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur?

Sports Mole considers whether Tottenham Hotspur or Chelsea would be a better option for Brazilian attacker Willian.

If the rumours are to be believed, Willian's proposed transfer to Tottenham Hotspur from Anzhi Makhachkala may not yet be a done deal. Although the Brazilian is understood to have completed a Spurs medical, Jose Mourinho's Chelsea have attempted to hijack the deal and are now odds-on favourites to complete it.

The Blues squad already has an embarrassment of attacking midfield riches, with each option offering something slightly different, while Spurs are potentially needing to replace Gareth Bale. Here, Sports Mole takes a look at where Willian would fit in with the existing setup at both clubs.


The saga surrounding Bale continues but he does appear to be moving closer to a move to Real Madrid. Certainly, Spurs have wasted little time eyeing up potential replacements for him. One of those has been Willian for a reported £30m, around a third of the money the club might bring in by selling Bale.

For Spurs fans, the big question will be is he Gareth Bale? Taking into consideration just how vital Bale has been for Spurs over the past few years it would be a huge ask to expect Willian to slot straight in and take on the mantle of scoring and creating.

Willian of FC Anzhi Makhachkala in action during the Russian Premier League match between FC Dinamo Moscow and FC Anzhi Makhachkala at the Arena Khimki Stadium on July 19, 2013© Getty Images

In terms of his style of play, Willian's biggest weakness is his goalscoring, although this could be put down to the style of play at Anzhi and Shakhtar Donetsk. That would be a worry for Tottenham, who have been spoiled with Bale's ability to score any type of goal from almost anywhere on the pitch. He does have an eye for a spectacular goal, being Brazilian, but simply does not do it with the same regularity as Bale.

Where he can impress, however, is with his ability to create chances and goals. Although it has been rectified somewhat with the summer purchases of Paulinho and Nacer Chadli, there is still room, particularly out wide, for a player who is tricky, creative and fast, as Willian is. Operating from the left he can cut inside to build a move with his close control and passing, or zip wide to cross for Roberto Soldado. There has been an emphasis on technical ability with Andre Villas-Boas's summer signings and here Willian fits right in.

Should Bale leave and Willian join the Brazilian will be sure to get games this season at Spurs, but would this be enough for him to pick the white of North London?


Or will Mourinho persuade the 25-year-old that his future lies at Stamford Bridge? The immediate problem from an incoming player's point of view is the sheer wealth of attacking, creative talent that is already available at Chelsea. Is there room for more?

Willian is well drilled with the at times breathtaking football that Mircea Lucescu's Shakhtar play, which equates to passing and movement with no shortage of pace. The fact that he was such a key player for the Ukrainian side bodes well for Chelsea as he would not have to adapt his game too much, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Andre Schurrle and Oscar possessing similar capabilities.

Anzhi's start to the Russian season has been poor, which is to be expected with the whole team up for sale. Willian, however, has still managed three assists in four starts. Up front Chelsea have Demba Ba, Fernando Torres and Romelu Lukaku to choose from with goals also able to come from many of their midfielders, including Frank Lampard, Oscar and Hazard. This means that Willian's lack of goals would not be so much of an issue at Chelsea and he will certainly be able to work his magic in the creativity stakes with so much forward movement in the team.

However, as he will be competing with the likes of Hazard, Juan Mata, Kevin de Bruyne, Oscar and Schurrle for a position in the side's attacking three behind the striker, minutes might be harder to come by for the Brazilian. On the up side to this, however, is the chance to play Champions League football with Mourinho likely to rotate between the competitions.

The question remains whether Willian would be an improvement on the current batch of Premier League proven Chelsea attackers, and £30m is an expensive risk to find the answer. For his career and the chance to solidify a spot in a regular XI, Spurs might well be the better option. But, of course, the choice is his to make.

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Spurs manager Andre Villas Boas prior to kick off against Crystal Palace on August 18, 2013
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