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Shirt numbers available to Willian at Liverpool

Amid speculation linking Chelsea winger Willian with a shock move to Liverpool, Sports Mole looks at which numbers could be available to the Brazilian at Anfield.

Willian looks increasingly likely to leave Chelsea this summer as his contract ticks down, with the club and player still apart in discussions over the length of any extension.

Should the long-serving Brazilian depart Stamford Bridge then there is expected to be plenty of suitors - Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are just some of the clubs to have been credited with an interest.

Another more surprising potential destination emerged this week, though, with reports suggesting that European champions and Premier League leaders Liverpool have entered the race for his signature.

With that in mind, here Sports Mole has taken a look at which shirt number the 31-year-old could take if he makes the move to Anfield.



Willian celebrates scoring for Chelsea against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on December 22, 2019.© Reuters

Willian's first-choice shirt number appears to be the iconic '10' - worn by the likes of John Barnes, Michael Owen and John Toshack at Anfield in the past.

The Brazilian would not dislodge the incumbent Sadio Mane from that shirt, though, while he has only worn that number for Chelsea since Eden Hazard left the club last summer.

A more likely option would be to revert to the number 22 shirt he held for the first six years of his Chelsea career and for the first two seasons of his professional career at Shakhtar Donetsk.

That number is currently taken at Liverpool and is usually reserved for a third-choice goalkeeper, but if Willian really pushed for it he would likely be granted it ahead of current occupant Andy Lonergan.

Numbers seven and 11 are traditionally associated with wingers but those are taken by James Milner and Mohamed Salah respectively, while Willian has not worn either of those numbers before anyway.

Indeed, the only number other than 10 and 22 he has worn at club level is the 88 shirt for one season at Anzhi Makhachkala, and that is unsurprisingly vacant for Liverpool at the moment.

Another option could be the number 19 he has regularly worn for Brazil, with that shirt also currently vacant after Mane switched to number 10 in 2018-19.

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Steven Gerrard celebrates Liverpool winning the FA Cup in May 2006
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events


GOLF
· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

CYCLING - BMX
· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

SWIMMING
· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

TENNIS
· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

SAILING
· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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League of Ireland Premier
Belarusian Premier League
2.Bundesliga
Ligue 2
Major League Soccer
Brasileiro
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Chinese Super League
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