Brazilian winger Willian has finally made the switch from Anzhi Makhachkala to Chelsea after his work permit came through on Wednesday.
The player had been set for a move to Tottenham Hotspur and had even completed a medical before Chelsea moved in for the player.
The fee for Willian is believed to be in the region of £25.5million. With the work permit in place, the 25-year-old was in a position to finalize his contract on a five year deal and he will wear the number 22 shirt for Jose Mourinho’s side.
In conversation with Chelsea’s official club website, Willian spoke of his interest in Chelsea before this Summer’s movements, saying: “I’ve always been following Chelsea and every time I came to London I would try to see a Chelsea game and see how the team was doing because it’s been my dream to come to play here. Finally it’s become a reality, and when the offer came I never gave a thought to anybody else, I said to myself that I would run here, and I’m happy to be here now. Chelsea was always my first choice.”
These comments could be viewed with a degree of cynicism by Tottenham fans who believed it was their club who the player was joining only for a dramatic u-turn to take place to see him move across London.
When questioned on how he felt about working with Jose Mourinho, Willian spoke how it would be an immense pleasure to work with the Portuguese manager and to listen and learn from him. He said they had a brief chat and that “he welcomed me to the club and told me he was happy that I was here. He told me to work hard. He said we have a very strong team but when you work hard there are rewards.”
Willian is not totally foreign to dealing with Premier League sides, having previously played against Fulham, Arsenal, Newcastle and Tottenham in recent seasons.
And he is also not foreign to success. At Shakhtar, who he played with before Anzhi, he won the Ukraninan title, the domestic cup and the UEFA Cup.
And he believes this will be to his benefit at his new club, saying, “It will help me because every player has a wish to win everything they are competing for. I’ve won a lot of trophies in Ukraine, which is a wonderful feeling, but Chelsea are a great club who are used to winning trophies. My aim is to help Chelsea keep this winning mentality and to win as many trophies as we can. All we want is to win trophies and be successful.”