Out of all the Brazilians playing for Shakhtar Donetsk, Willian Borges da Silva is probably the most talented, and the 24 year old would love to see himself playing for a London club in the near future, probably Chelsea or Tottenham.
Both teams were interested in signing the attacking midfielder (sometimes winger) last summer, but no one was able to match the club’s £16 million price tag. Andre Villas-Boas mostly talked about the prospect of going after him, while Chelsea actually sat down with members from Shakhtar, but according to Shakhtar’s head coach, Mircea Lucescu, their offer was way below expectations. He was signed from Corinthians in 2007 for £12 million, and that was the price Chelsea were willing to offer.
For Willian himself, who has played 205 matches for the club, scoring 35 goals in all competitions, it doesn’t really matter if it’s Chelsea or Tottenham. He’s won four Ukrainian championships with the team, but it seems his cieling for European success is limited in Donetsk, although he did win the last UEFA Cup with the team in 2009.
Tottenham are a big club and they have Villas-Boas. I have great affection for this manager. He is always in contact with me and we exchanged messages.
And Chelsea is the Chelsea, right? A big club, European champions, with great players. It would be really cool if I play in one of these clubs, important for my career.
For now, my mind remains at Shakhtar, but everybody knows what my goal is. I’ve clearly stated that I would like to play in a big city for a top club, whether it be England, Spain or Italy. I want to come back to the Brazil national team and being in a bigger spotlight would help me get noticed.
In terms of salary, a move to Tottenham won’t be any kind of upgrade for him. The chances of playing Champions League football is greater with the Ukrainian champions, and they are probably just as strong if not better than Tottenham in terms of overall quality. But players who don’t play in Brazil or major European leagues often get overlooked by Brazil coaches, and with the 2014 World Cup coming up, there’s a bigger urge to find a place with more of a spotlight thrust upon it, and hopefully get a chance to prove his worth and show his ability to a wider audience. Chelsea, in that regard, make the better choice, although it’s hard to see him finding a place among the current trio of Hazard, Oscar and Mata, unless he replaces one of them.