Willian is probably the most criticized player in Chelsea’s regular XI, mainly because he doesn’t score any goals nor does he craft any assists, and he is denounced for being defensive minded.
In the January window, Jose made some alterations to the squad by removing two players, Schurrle and Salah, and purchased Fiorentina’s Columbian winger Juan Cuadrado for 23 million pounds approximately (exclusive of add ons).
The addition of Juan in the squad may lead to two possibilities which might be Willian going down in the pecking order or a change in tactics or formation.
Change in formation or tactics in the middle of the season cannot be expected by a manager like Mourinho and hence the chances of Willian facing the axe are quiet high. So, let us now understand which player is the right piece in the jigsaw and which player will have to be a backup.
Style Of Play, Strengths and Weaknesses
Willian and Cuadrado both are right wingers with almost same attributes but both have different impact on the team. Willian’s strengths are pin point crosses, both short and long passing, dribbling, hold up play, pace, combination play and tackling. Whereas Cuadrado’s strengths are dribbling, passing, long shots, finishing and tackling. Moreover, he is a typical counter attack threat because of his prolific dribbling and lightning fast pace.
Willian’s job in the Chelsea lineup is to partner Ivanovic on the right flank. In Chelsea’s pressing game, Willian constantly attempts tackles or collects the ball which was cleared from the defensive third and then start a counter attack. Whereas against tough opponents where Chelsea have to be defensive, Willian stays back, blocks shots, attempts important tackles and anticipates the opponent’s passes for an interception and starts a run.
Willian also likes to attempt shots but mostly all of them are either saved by the keeper or go over the post. Apart from all these, as mentioned above, Willian is a very good passer who makes at least 2.8 key passes per game which is quiet a good number. Willian is a very good dribbler as well who attempts 4.9 dribbles per game.
Cuadrado was used in many varied positions at Fiorentina because of his versatile nature. Cuadrado plays mostly as a Right Winger and a Right Wing Back but his other playing positions are number ten, left wing and center forward. Cuadrado was the focal point in the Fiorentina squad as their main strengths are counter attack. Cuadrado used to sum up the industrious side of the game by always initiating an attack or himself carrying the ball. Cuadrado is also good at regaining possession from the opposition and is a calm and composed player.
Cuadrado’s statistics are very impressive with respect to Chelsea’s style of play. He makes 3.1 key passes per game and has taken dribbling to a whole new level by making more than 7 dribbles per game.
Willian’s weaknesses are his short height due to which he is really poor in the air and also lack of attacking vision. Whereas Cuadrado is poor at hold up play and is not a multitasking player on the field due to which his contribution in either of the halves are not well balanced.
Both Willian and Cuadrado are brilliant team players and excellent footballers but what Willian does on the field, Juan can do it better. After the comparison, there is no doubt over who will be on the first place in the pecking order and indeed after the arrival of Cuadrado, Willian might become a back up right winger or both of them will become squad rotation players. But the positivity of having two world class right wingers in the squad is that Mourinho will now have an excellent bench strength with more choices for rotation. The power of choosing either Juan or Willian for a game is with Jose but both players are good enough to do well for the team.
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Edited By: Girish & Abhay Shenoy