In a Chelsea squad full of talent, it’s hard to name a top ten. If you were to do so, though, it is very likely that Willian Borges da Silva would be among them. The Brazilian has been a firm fan favourite at Stamford Bridge since arriving for £30 million in 2013.
Indeed, both Liverpool and Tottenham fans often cast envious glances towards Chelsea given both nearly secured his signature in the past. His decision to turn down Spurs in favour of Chelsea is likely among the reasons he’s such a favourite among the Blues fanbase.
It’s not just in the stands where he’s a favourite either, with former manager Jose Mourinho also a big fan. So much so, that there were suggestions he would try to add him to his Manchester United squad this summer.
The fact is, though, Willian is nowhere near as good as his regular fanfare would have you believe. In fact, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest he’s not worthy of it at all.
You need to go and support another team. Willian is one of our best players.
— Chelsea Blueboy (@ChelseaBlueboy2) September 20, 2017
Let’s start with the obvious, his stats. In five years at Chelsea, including this season, Willian’s numbers are a little bit sad.
So far he has managed 31 goals in all competitions since joining the Blues. That equates to around 6.2 goals every season, or a goal every six games. Hardly an inspiring number by anyone’s reckoning.
It’s an even worse tally when you consider that he is a player who has featured regularly in a team that has won the Premier League title in two of his four full seasons in England.
Compare him to a fierce rival, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, and it becomes miserable. Sanchez arrived from Barcelona for a fee of £31 million, a million more than Willian cost Chelsea, just a year after the latter joined the Blues. Since then, he has thoroughly shown up his fellow South American.
Sanchez currently has 73 goals in 147 games in all competitions for Arsenal, equal to 18 a season, or one every two games. He’s managed to do that while playing for a worse team by some distance.
Chelsea fans whenever they see Willian in the final third: pic.twitter.com/PlVzzaZkqV
— Super Frank (@ChelseaAction) September 16, 2017
Of course, it isn’t all about goals, so does Willian make it up in the assists? No, no he does not. In his time at Chelsea, he’s registered 29 assists in total, around six a season or one every six games.
Yet again, those are hardly inspiring numbers and again worse when you consider the top team he’s been playing in. A top team with a top striker in Diego Costa let’s not forget. His tally should be far greater.
In comparison, Sanchez has 42 assists to his name since signing for Arsenal. That equates to 10.5 a season or one every 3.5 games. If the Chilean has been playing alongside Costa, those numbers could be extraordinary.
Dai willian playing as a winger for 4 years has like 30 goals in total for Chelsea
He is never criticized just because he runs.
— Abhishek (@VanMustaine) September 10, 2017
While those numbers may be lacking, there is no denying Willian’s work rate is phenomenal. There are not many with a work rate as high as his in the Premier League, or indeed, football.
But that work rate has helped to cover up a lack of actual, tangible quality. Sure, Willian has some ability but not as much as everyone thinks he does.
In fact, his numbers at Chelsea suggest he is nowhere near as good as many people think he is. He looks extremely average compared to Alexis Sanchez, a man who cost just a million pounds more.
He may run around a lot but Willian is nowhere near worthy of the praise that he continually gets from fans and pundits alike.