With Willian reportedly having a medical at Spurs, we take a look at the former Shakhtar Donetsk creative midfielder, and if he is the man to make Spurs a top four outfit.
Willian broke onto the scene in Brazil and was deployed on the flank, but it was his move to Shakhtar where he made his mark. After struggling to break into the Donetsk outfit’s first XI in his first season, stuck behind the likes of the initial Brazillian contingent of Jadson, Ilsinho Brandao, and the ageing Italian target man Cristiano Lucarelli, Willian eventually got his chance.
Over the years in Donetsk he has established himself as the main component of Shakhtar’s team. In the number 10 role behind Luiz Adriano (or Lacina Traore, following his move to Anzhi) he combined spectacularly quick feet with an ability to see and deliver the killer pass.
His flair and expressive nature on the ball make him an absolute joy to watch. Like many footballers his size (5ft8) he has that low centre of gravity, making dispossessing him almost impossible.
Willian himself contributed on average 8 goals a season for his years at Shakhtar (we are not counting the handful of games he played for Anzhi). His impending signing marks a redistribution in goals for Spurs. Before they relied on Bale, but the goals could now potentially come from anywhere – a consistent feature of the likes of both Manchester clubs and Chelsea.
The thought of him linking up with the prolific Roberto Soldado at Spurs is quite frightening. It sets up perfectly for Spurs to take Arsenal’s place in the top four.
The addition of Willian to Tottenham will undoubtedly see Soldado flourish. The Spaniard himself scored 24 goals last season, all of which were in the box. His predatory one touch finish will be put to good use by the vision of the tricky Brazillian.
Willian’s ability to play the perfect ball in the attack will see a massive improvement in goals from other areas – a necessity if/when Bale completes his move to Real Madrid.
It is a massive blow to lose the pace, work ethic and most importantly goals of Gareth Bale, but in Willian, Spurs will have the catalyst to create if not the most terrifying attack in the Premiership, easily one of the top four.