After leading Chelsea to a 4-0 win over Hull City in the FA Cup many fans and pundits took to Twitter to praise Willian for a virtuoso display.
Willian scored a brace – one with his left foot and one with his right – in what was an impressive individual display against Hull. Many argue that he has put himself into the conversation to make Chelsea’s XI for their Champions League clash against Barcelona on Tuesday night.
Willian earned high praise for his performance on Twitter:
If you’re one of those kids who can’t stand Willian, turn it in. He’s been an excellent player for Chelsea overall in the last 5 years, offers us a direct attacking outlet, and is a goal threat – two good strikes tonight.
— Charlie Skillen (@charlieskillen) February 16, 2018
Willian quietly has 20 goals and assists this season across all competitions (10 each). Very underrated two-way player. 🇧🇷⚽
— Jake Cohen (@JakeFCohen) February 16, 2018
10/10 performance from Willian.
— CFC (@CFCWriter) February 16, 2018
But does Willian really deserve to be described as a ‘direct goal threat’ or ‘underrated’?
First of all, taking a look at his record in front of goal. Willian has had a good campaign in front of goal, scoring 10 in 40 games. The late equaliser against Liverpool has to be considered the most important goal Willian has scored during the campaign but a rare example of one in what would be considered a big game. Playing like Ronaldinho against Qarabag and a depleted Hull side does little to convince me of his attacking threat.
How does an attacking player that has played for one of the best teams in the country – winning two Premier League titles – only managed to score 23 league goals in 156 games?
To put that into context, Chelsea ‘reject’ Mohamed Salah is one goal away from equalling Willian’s entire Premier League goal tally in just 26 appearances, debunking the argument that Willian can be considered a goal threat.
His assist record doesn’t make for pretty reading either as he has only registered 19 during his time in west London, a paltry return from a player that has taken the lion’s share of corners and free kicks over the last five years. Finally, what bothers me most about Willian is the constant turning over of the ball and tardy decision making.