Since joining Chelsea in 2013, Brazilian winger Willian has been one of the London club’s most consistent players if rarely amongst its most exciting—hard working, tactically sound, and always a safe bet to chip in his share of goals and assists.
He’s out of contract this summer, though, and so far despite public talking of wanting to stick around at Chelsea beyond the current season there’s been little apparent movement towards a new deal. And now he’s been linked to Liverpool.
The source is distant and dubious, Catalan’s Sport, who tie Willian’s pending departure into Chelsea’s supposed interest in Philippe Coutinho and list Liverpool as the club negotiating with the increasingly veteran SC Corinthians graduate.
That he’s increasingly veteran seems reason for skepticism, beyond the source, as Willian turns 32 in August. Still, he remains an effective player, making clocking more than 2,500 minutes this season while scoring seven goals and six assists.
If this was a few years ago and Willian were available on a free, signing him would be a great move—comparable perhaps to Liverpool brining in James Milner at 29 years old. Now, even given his work-rate and output, it does feel a touch late.
It also feels, with the recent signing of Takumi Minamino and continuing links to Timo Werner, feel as though Willian would be surplus to requirements, even if Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi were to both leave the club this summer.
Still, if nothing else it’s an at least an intriguing, unexpected link—for a player that in every way bar age feels like he would be a perfect fit for a Jürgen Klopp side.