In a new series of articles, FantasySports.co.uk will analyse the likely formation and performance impact that players would have on some of the Premier League’s greatest clubs. Today, we ask the question: ‘How would Chelsea player Willian fit in at Manchester United?’
Our analysis series is to assist Fantasy Premier League managers in understanding the impact Willian could have next season in the English top-flight.
Analysis: How would Chelsea player Willian fit in at Manchester United?
Willian has been a constant contributor for Chelsea since arriving in 2013. The attacking midfielder has played an important role at the club winning two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, and a Football League Cup. In his time at Stamford Bridge, Willian has played 166 times scoring 25 goals in the Premier League. Of those 166 matches Willian has featured in, Chelsea have won 66 times. That is a winning percentage of 40 percent when Willian has been on the pitch for Chelsea.
Although the Brazilian has got older, Willian’s production has been solid. Willian tallied six goals from 36 appearances in 2017-18. Sixteen of those appearances came from the bench, which gives Fantasy Premier League managers some trepidation over whether to draft the player into their squads.
Under Antonio Conte, Willian saw fewer opportunities to start at Chelsea. In 2016-17, Willian appeared in 34 matches but came off the bench 19 times. During Conte’s reign at Chelsea, Willian appeared as a sub 35 times in 70 games. The Brazilian was used as a starter only 50 percent of the matches he played in under Conte.
Prior to the Italian manager’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, Willian had been a regular starter for Jose Mourinho. Although the Brazilian has scored more goals in the Premier League under Conte, Mourinho used the player more as a starter.
In Willian’s first season at Chelsea, he played 25 matches with 18 coming as a starter. Year two saw him start 28 out of 36 matches and in Mourinho’s final year as Chelsea manager, he featured 32 times out of 35 games from the start.
Mourinho loves Willian’s work rate and attacking creativity. There is little doubt that the Manchester United manager would play him as part of the Red Devils’ starting XI on most occasions. Willian would give Manchester United the winger Mourinho craves that can work in all areas of the pitch. He works hard in both the attacking and defensive phases, which Mourinho loves as well.
The Brazilian was at his most successful last season playing behind the Chelsea No. 9. Deployed as a No. 10, Willian tallied six goals and four assists for the Blues in all competitions. Deployed on the right wing of an attacking trio, he still managed to tally two goals and four assists in all competitions.
Mourinho deployed a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation for the majority of last season. Willian would fit in well with both plans and would most likely find himself on the right side. The Brazilian could be Mourinho’s go-to player rather than Juan Mata or Marcus Rashford on the wing. Mourinho may even play the Brazilian over Jesse Lingard behind striker Romelu Lukaku.
Willian would give Mourinho plenty of new options in the Manchester United attack. The attacking midfielder would also give FPL managers plenty of options for the new season under Mourinho.