Chelsea's Willian claims he never considered joining Tottenham, Liverpool
Chelsea were widely thought to have beaten Tottenham and Liverpool to sign Willian from Anzhi Makhachkala. The Brazilian is understood to have undergone a medical at Tottenham before moving to Chelsea for £33 million. Jose Mourinho even joked about Tottenham needing secret medical facilities so that their players are not snapped away by other clubs. The 25-year-old has spoken in length about his move to Chelsea for the first time.
He says that he never thought about joining Tottenham or Liverpool because Chelsea were always his first choice. According to Sky Sports, he told the Sun:
"Two years ago, Chelsea made an offer for me when I was with Shakhtar Donetsk. They didn't want to sell me but it made me more interested in Chelsea.
Never once did I say I was going to sign for Tottenham or Liverpool or for anyone else in the summer.
Chelsea were interested in me and when they made an offer this time I didn't think twice. My heart was already at Chelsea."
Chelsea were linked with the Brazilian for the last two years, but they were unable to sign him due to the ambitions of Anzhi Makhachkala. Due to financial constraints, the ambitions took a turn towards the south this season and it meant that the West Londoners were able to sign the playmaker. They were able to beat Tottenham due to the connections between Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and his compatriot at Anzhi Makhachkala.
Willian had a slow start to his Chelsea career, as he was largely used as a substitute in the first few matches. He announced his league arrival in style with a wonder goal against Norwich City. He is starting to have more influence on the team by starting more matches. His runs with the ball were probably the only bright spots had in the defeat against FC Basel.
He has contributed to six goals in 13 appearances this campaign. As with many other players signed by Mourinho, the Brazilian was in full praise of the Portuguese. He says that the presence of Jose was an important factor towards coming to Chelsea. He continued:
"I wished so much to play here and work with Jose Mourinho, who is one of the best managers in the world. Everywhere he has been he has won titles. Everyone likes to work with a winner."
Willian could find himself increasingly used in the first-team over the next few weeks, as Mourinho suggested that he would be rotating his team in order to keep them fresh during the December period.