Willian confirmed his exit from Stamford Bridge in an open letter to the Chelsea fans earlier this week. As he draws closer to a move to Arsenal, just how much will Willian be missed in west London?
Why Willian won’t be missed at Chelsea
According to some, he’ll be missed greatly as he’s been a ‘legend’ over his seven-year stint at the club. During this time he has won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, League Cup & Europa League. Not a bad haul.
But to others, the 32-year-old has flattered to deceive, particularly when it comes to goal contributions. Since he made his debut against FC Basel in 2013 Willian played 339 games for Chelsea, scoring 63 goals and registering 62 assists, which works out a little less than 0.37 goal contributions per game.
To put that into context, Salomon Kalou, a player who was much maligned at Chelsea and would never have earned himself as much praise from pundits as Willian had, scored 60 and assisted 44 times for the Blues. This puts him at a goal contribution of approximately 0.41 per game.
Whilst this is a rudimentary look at the numbers during Willian’s Chelsea career he clearly isn’t the match-winner that Chelsea needed following the departure of Eden Hazard, the previous incumbent of the #10 shirt.
The Brazil international scored 7 non-penalty goals during the 2019-20 season, a poor return from one of your primary attackers. Willian is also prone to prolonged barren spells. During the first two months of 2020 he failed to register a single goal contribution in all competitions. If Chelsea have serious aspirations of climbing back to the top of the pile then they need more than Willian has been able to provide over his career to date.
Despite his impeccable fitness and off-the-ball work, moving on from Willian is the right thing for Chelsea. Where would Willian fit in among the likes of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and possibly Kai Havertz?