Chelsea’s 2015-16 player of the season Willian is no longer a crucial member in the Blues squad. The Brazilian winger’s decline began since his injury just after the arrival of Antonio Conte last season and his form has continued to diminish. He has been off his game this season. The former Anzhi Makhachkala man was brought in by Jose Mourinho in a dramatic fashion after the Portuguese tactician stole him from under the nose of Tottenham Hotspur.
Willian’s move was initially a big hit, with the player being the only bright spark in Chelsea’s disastrous 2015-16 season. His pace and dribbling precision on the right wing was an important attacking outlet for the Blues when they romped to the title in the 2014-15 season for the third time under Jose Mourinho. However, ever since the arrival of Antonio Conte, Willian has been unable to repeat his form of old. He paid the price by losing his spot in the first team and things have gone downhill ever since.
Conte has preferred to use Pedro in his place who, although lacks the brilliance of Willian, has been able to deliver the goods for Chelsea from time to time with crucial goals. As for Willian, with the FIFA World Cup coming up next year, he will want to play regular football if he wishes to be a starter for Brazil at Russia; something that will definitely not be easy with the likes of Jesus, Neymar, Coutinho vying for the attacking places.
After beginning the 2017/18 season in disastrous fashion, Chelsea were left frustrated with the Brazilian. Despite a bad start, the Brazilian has made some improvement to his game as the season progresses. He has made 30 appearances for the Blues this season, although the majority of those have come as substitutes.
Willian also continues to make his impact in terms of goals and assists. Despite playing an error-prone season, he has scored seven goals and made nine assists. There have been several reports linking Willian with a move to Manchester United where he can get reunited with his former boss Jose Mourinho. However, as he has stated over and over again throughout the season, Willian would love nothing more to stay in Chelsea and succeed there.
Conte would like to bring in some reinforcements this January and should Willian stop improving after his stagnant start, he would find himself further down the pecking order with the new signings likely to be preferred.