Andre Villas-Boas has suggested his work in the transfer market is not done yet and it would seem he is true to his word, as it appears though Spurs are set to sign Willian.
Given some of their new players are still bedding in, there was a slightly laboured feel to Spurs’ victory over Crystal Palace as they struggled to carve out many clear-cut chances against the relegation favourites.
In the end they had to settle for a penalty to take all three points and AVB will be keen to add a proven creative edge.
Furthermore, as Roberto Soldado was signed with the sole intention of being the main goalscorer, Spurs need somebody feeding him, with the Spaniard struggling for service at times in the season opener. The effect of this was that Soldado was continuously coming out wide to receive the ball, as shown in his Heatmap below.
If one looks (above) at Spurs’ key passes against Palace, the north London club struggled to create a number of chances from the central areas and a high number stemmed from wide areas. However, if we look at Willian’s key passes in his game against Chelsea in the Champions League last term, a number of the chances he created came from central areas. His ability to create in the middle would be invaluable to Spurs, especially since Soldado is a fox in the box.
Furthermore, the quality of Willian’s final ball is exceptional and this is proven by the fact that the Anzhi playmaker has three assists already this season, while Spurs hero Gareth Bale managed just four assists last season.
The composure of Willian and his ability to beat his man would be key assets in getting Soldado to score regularly. This season the Anzhi man has a take-on success rate of 68 per cent - incredibly impressive for a playmaker, thus demonstrating he has the ability to use himself as a tool to create space.
Willian can be trusted to finish too. In last season’s Champions League, he scored four goals in six games. If Willian combines his movement with Soldado’s intelligence, then Spurs may have another free-scoring attacking midfielder in their ranks.
Spurs have done some terrific business already this summer, but the possible acquisition of Willian to supplement Soldado could just the icing on the cake as Spurs look like they could possibly mount a credible title challenge.