Seven years after famously having a medical at White Hart Lane only to be snatched away by the Stamford Bridge outfit at the last hour, Chelsea’s Willian could finally be on his way to Tottenham. Numerous reports in the last week have suggested that Spurs manager Jose Mourinho is interested in a reunion with his former player. Amidst speculation, some betting firms have priced up a summer switch at 7/2.
Since joining the Blues instead of Tottenham back in 2013, Willian has scored 33 goals in 226 appearances, winning the Premier League twice, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the UEFA Europa League.
Strong signing or unnecessary addition?
A tricky player, Willian often slaloms through a crowd of opponents, though is there enough substance to warrant Mourinho pursuing the Brazilian?
At 31, it could be argued that Willian’s best years are behind him, but the forward has performed well for Chelsea this season. 37 appearances don’t exactly point towards a decline, while a total of seven goals and three assists, if not outstanding, is respectable. In the Premier League this term, Willian is averaging 0.22 goals per 90, as well as 0.17 assists.
To get a fuller picture, let’s look at the last three seasons. Between the start of the 2017/18 campaign and the pausing of the current season, Willian has an average of 0.2 goals per 90, averaging 0.18 assists and 0.22 xG (expected goals). Using the same time frame, Tottenham’s Heung-min Son averages 0.46 goals per 90, 0.2 assists and 0.33 xG. Dele Alli averages 0.29 goals per 90, 0.14 assists and 0.29 xG, while Erik Lamela averages 0.24 goals per 90, 0.12 assists and 0.28 xG.
So, is Willian an upgrade on what Spurs already have? Based on the numbers above, not really, though that’s not to say that the Brazilian couldn’t be a viable option for the North London outfit. Then again, given that he’ll be 32 by the time the transfer window comes around, even if Spurs do swoop for their once number-one transfer target, it’s likely to be a case of too little, too late.