- Willian continues to be linked with a move to Barcelona.
- The Brazilian has started 11 consecutive games for Chelsea.
- We dig for the truth in a situation riddled with ambiguity.
You’d think there was no doubt over the future of a player who has started 11 consecutive games, making 19 appearances in total by the start of November. Yet, the situation surrounding Willian at Stamford Bridge remains precarious.
Sky Sports reported in the summer that Chelsea rejected an offer worth somewhere in the region of £55M from Barcelona, with the Catalan giants seemingly keen on securing Willian’s signature.
It was a questionable rejection. The winger’s quality aside, such an amount of money for a player on the verge of turning 30 is an opportunity to receive a considerable sum in exchange for someone whose best years are drawing to a close.
Regardless, a Chelsea player Willian remains, and Maurizio Sarri appears to be fond of the Brazilian. The sheer number of minutes he has enjoyed on the field of play so far this season is testament to the faith Sarri has in him.
Yet, Barcelona have not given up hope of landing him, or so reports claim. Manager Ernesto Valverde has only used the Willian alternative, Malcom, scarcely this season. He arrived from Bordeaux with high expectations, but is yet to deliver.
Spanish outlet La Sexta now claim that Barca are prepared to part with Malcom as part of a swap deal which would see them finally have Willian sign along the dotted line.
The consistency of the reports linking Willian with a move to the Nou Camp suggests that Barca’s interest must be genuine, though his acquisition, at the expense of one of the world’s most exciting young wingers, would be a clear contradiction of their recent decisions in the transfer market.
The average age of their 2018 summer signings was 24, with the average age of players signed in their previous two transfer windows being even lower at 23. Why would they dedicate such an amount of effort and resources into signing 30-year-old Willian?
That’s also completely disregarding the fact that Willian has shown no willingness to leave Chelsea, quite the opposite. Back in July he was quoted by Globo Esporte saying:
“I’m very happy at Chelsea. I’m very happy living in London.”
Even if Barcelona decide to reignite their interest in Willian. Even if they are prepared to offer Malcom, a player that would be a direct replacement for the Brazilian and the ageing Pedro. It seems incredibly unlikely that Sarri would green-light his exit considering how much of an important player he has been for us this season.
You could be forgiven for thinking that Willian’s days as a Chelsea player are numbered, but when you dig through the details, the truth appears. He’s going nowhere, and Barcelona would be wasting their time trying to change that.