Liverpool are reportedly planning to sign Tottenham target and Anzhi Makhachkala attacker Willian, according to The Telegraph. The Brazil international cost the Russian club £32million when he joined them from Shakhtar Donetsk in January.
However, he is now being made available at a bargain price after Anzhi decided to cut costs and end their free-spending ways. The Reds reportedly want Brazilian winger Willian to be their marquee summer signing and dispel the gloom caused by Luis Suarez. But what does the 25-year-old have to offer the Anfield club?
Willian plays predominately as a left-sided, attacking midfielder, although he can also be deployed in a more central role. At Liverpool, the Brazilian would probably be used down the middle in a 4-2-3-1 formation, or out-wide as part of 4-3-3 set-up.
Willian would bring an abundance of speed to the Liverpool midfield. He oozes flair, and his low-centre of gravity makes him a sensational dribbler. He possesses a natural ability to beat defenders with either feet. So far this season he has found success in terms of taking on an opposition, 68% of the time. On top of this, he boasts a passing accuracy of 85%.
What’s more, his creative abilities will have certainly caught the eye of Europe’s top sides. Already this campaign Willian has fashioned 16 shooting opportunities for his team-mates, 3 of these becoming assists.
In terms of creating chances, Liverpool created the most in the top-five European leagues. However, his talent in midfield certainly can’t hurt the Merseyside club. Willian would allow Coutinho to play in his favoured number 10 role. As we can see from the diagram below, Coutinho creates most of his chances from the central area of the pitch. While Willian, on the other hand, has the ability to create both in wide-areas and in central ideas. This indicates that the two Brazilians may compliment each other and could potentially rotate within games, thus being an utter nightmare for opposition markers.
At Liverpool, Rodgers wants his team to get hold of the ball as quickly as possible and then keep it. He opts for a fluid system which generates the option for fast, diagonal passing up and down the pitch. Willian is the perfect addition with regard to maintaining this footballing philosophy.
The South American would fit the bill at Anfield, however his wages could be a stumbling block. If Liverpool can overcome this, the Brazilian would be an awesome addition, someone who would compliment and expand on Liverpool’s current attacking options.