Chelsea need to reconsider selling Willian
Antonio Conte is ready to remake the Chelsea squad in his image this summer. That means the Blues will be bringing a lot of new talent to Stamford Bridge. Naturally, some stars will need to be sold to make room. Willian shouldn’t be one of those summer sales.
Reports from England claim that Conte is considering parting with the talented Brazilian this summer. The skillful star hasn’t gotten the type of match time he’d like this season, so it’s believed he may be jettisoned to a side where he can be a regular member of the starting XI.
Selling Willian this summer would be Conte’s first real mistake at Chelsea. I can understand the temptation to sell a squad player for a massive transfer fee, but the Blues don’t need to worry about the money. Roman Abramovich will give Conte whatever funds he needs to take the club to Champions League glory.
Remember that Conte is going to need a much larger squad next season. Part of his Premier League success this year has been fueled by the club’s lack of European football. Next year, Chelsea won’t enjoy that luxury. Conte and company will need to deal with the rigors of Champions League competition.
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That will make additional squad rotation a necessity. Given the fact that Willian already made 24 Premier League appearances this year, it’s very likely he’ll make even more next year. Selling a Brazilian international capable of making meaningful Premier League starts just isn’t a solid football move.
There’s also the distinct possibility that Eden Hazard and Pedro won’t enjoy banner seasons for the second year in a row. Each has played exceptional football this season. They’ve also enjoyed tremendous runs of health for the most part. If either of them suffers a dip in form or misses significant time due to injury then Willian suddenly becomes a necessity.
In fairness, it’s likely the club will purchase additional wing talent this summer. Selling Willian would make more sense if Conte successfully lures someone like Antoine Griezmann to Stamford Bridge. Even if he does, I still don’t endorse moving on from Willian. He’s simply too valuable a player to sell when you’re trying to make a run for a Champions League title.
Antonio Conte has pushed all of the right buttons at Chelsea during his tenure, but he may be poised to make his first big mistake. Selling Willian this summer would be an unnecessary risk for the Blues.