In Chelsea’s appalling campaign last time around, Willian was the brief shining light.
As Eden Hazard, Pedro, Diego Costa and Oscar flopped embarrassingly, Willian stood tall, scored goals and created chances with ease. The former Shakhtar man became a fan favourite (well, not quite) for his performances as many of his team-mates showed the collective grit of a Roberto Martinez defence.
Often drifting in from the right, Willian showed the courage to take players on whilst his fellow Blues hid themselves in the depths of midfield or found anyway to avoid possession.
Despite not having quite the same exceptional natural talent as Eden Hazard or Cesc Fabregas, Chelsea’s hard-working utility midfielder created more chances than any other blue last season. From bit part bridesmaid to creator-in-chief, Willian became a star as the rest of Chelsea’s gold-plated mansion collapsed around him.
Willian created 81 chances in the Premier League last season, more than any other Chelsea player. pic.twitter.com/1pCtkWFbM2
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 15, 2016
Before their clash with West Ham, all the eyes are on Hazard and Costa, all the talk is about Fabregas’ exclusion when their greatest creator will just be minding his own business on the right wing.