Manchester United have already made moves in transfer window as they prepare to challenge for the title next season. Jose Mourinho has made several marquee signings since his appointment as manager at Old Trafford and another one could happen this summer. The Mail report that the Portuguese coach wants to sign Willian from former club Chelsea. The Brazilian has already played under Mourinho and a reunion could be on the cards this summer.
Willian has found it difficult over the last two years, as he hasn’t always been a regular starter and had to settle for a bit-part role, despite delivering an impressive level of consistency. Manchester United have a long-standing interest in the attacker and have previously made enquiries for the Brazilian international. At times, United were predictable in attack and that is why the Chelsea forward has emerged as a key target. He has two years left on his current Blues’ contract, but it is thought that £60 million could be enough to tempt his club into a sale.
Last season, Willian emerged as one of Chelsea’s most consistent players, especially during the second half of the season. Despite this, he was only named in the starting eleven on 20 occasions in the Premier League. He will believe he deserved more and that is one of the key reasons why he might consider a move to Manchester United.
The Brazilian contributed six goals and seven assists in the league, with a goal involvement every 144.8 minutes. He averaged 1.9 dribbles and 1.7 key passes per game, which shows his consistency. Willian is reliable in possession and he is very good at selecting the right pass. This is made clear by his pass success rate of 80.2%. He operates in the final third but manages to avoid giving the ball away too often. Manchester United have been wasteful in the final third over the last 12 months and it would be hoped that the addition of the 29-year-old attacker could help that.
One huge benefit from signing Willian would be his ability to fit straight in. He knows what is demanded by Jose Mourinho and he has previously thrived within the United manager’s system. It wouldn’t take him long to make an impact at Old Trafford, in a similar fashion to Nemanja Matic last summer. The risk is severely reduced and it is no surprise that the Portuguese coach is looking to sign another former player.
It is likely that Willian would be signed with the view of playing him as a right winger ahead of Antonio Valencia. That would provide a lot of dynamism to that side of the pitch in attack, but the industry and work rate would suit Mourinho’s style of play. During his time playing under the manager at Chelsea, the attacker showed that he could combine hard work with quality on the ball and he would benefit from playing within that system again. Alexis Sanchez, Marcus Rashford and Romelu Lukaku provide the goal threat, while Willian would complement those three very nicely.
The transfer window has taken a back seat after the start of the World Cup, but there will be a lot of work going on behind the scenes. Chelsea have had a slow start to the summer and there are concerns over their financial position with their new stadium being shelved. They would be tempted into a sale of a player that isn’t a regular starter, even if it was to a rival club. If the rumoured £60 million is put on the table, it could be a deal that benefits all three parties.