Manchester United have been linked with a move for Chelsea star Willian over recent months, here are five reasons why they should try to sign him.
Mourinho likes him, and vice versa
Willian was a top performer during Mourinho’s fated final season at Stamford Bridge during 2015/16.
While some of the Chelsea squad were accused of downing tools under the Portuguese that season, with Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa taking the bulk of the blame, Willian continued to perform, winning the Player of the Year award for the season.
Mourinho has a history of signing players that he has worked with before and knows he can trust, for example Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Nemanja Matic to name a few.
He’s not getting much game time at Chelsea
Since the arrival of Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge, he has not been as much of a first team regular as he will have been used to in the past.
Conte’s new three at the back system last season saw Pedro, Costa and Hazard playing as a front three, leaving Willian on the bench. This season, the Italian has tweaked his system once more, packing more men into the midfield, leaving Hazard and Morata to form a strike partnership up front.
Willian is still an important member of the 18 man squad, but he could certainly expect far more game time at Old Trafford, which leads me on to my next point.
United have no dedicated right winger
So far under Jose Mourinho, we have seen Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and in most recent weeks, Marcus Rashford operating as the right winger.
Three players, three differing type of players, and none would be described as a right winger.
Willian is a natural right winger, with pace, an eye for goal and a great work rate, all qualities which Mourinho loves, and United are lacking.
It would strengthen the United squad
As I’ve said, United have no natural right winger, so would naturally improve the squad.
However not only would it strengthen the right side of midfield, it would allow all the players who have been playing there, an opportunity to play in their natural positions.
Willian is also capable of playing centrally and out on the left, giving the United boss additional tactical flexibility should he want to mix it up a bit for certain games.
It would weaken Chelsea, again
Many eyebrows were raised when Manchester United signed Nemanja Matic from Chelsea.
He was an important player for the Blues last season, helping them cruise to the Premier League title.
His influence at Old Trafford was almost instantaneous, seemingly forming a good relationship with Paul Pogba and helping to solidify the United defence.
Such was been Matic’s influence at Chelsea, that Conte has been forced to play with a midfield three after some early season struggles without him.
A move for Willian would weaken the Chelsea squad in a similar manner.