According to the Telegraph, Chelsea is set to beat Arsenal & Manchester United to the signing of Aleksandr Golovin, it’s reported that CSKA Moscow want £27million for the 22-year-old. Chelsea scouts believe Golovin possesses similar traits to Luka Modrić and that he has the ability to transform Chelsea’s attacking play.
As with all big signings, some players currently at the club will have to make way. Aleksandr Golovin is a versatile attacking midfielder that can play in behind the striker or on the flanks in a three.
Chelsea’s 3-4-3 formation would force Golovin to either play as an advanced central midfielder or inverted winger. With Eden Hazard on the left and Cesc Fabregas partnering N’Golo Kante, Golovin’s inclusion would directly affect the playing time of one player, in particular, Willian.
Here’s what the arrival of Aleksandr Golovin means for Willian.
Club: CSKA Moscow
For his entire senior career, Aleksandr Golovin has played in Russia for CSKA Moscow. Since 2014, the 22-year-old has played 81 times for CSKA, scoring nine goals. Such is his quality, Golovin has represented his country at; U17, U18, U19, U21 and senior level, equating to 54 international appearances.
His performances at this year’s World Cup thus far have impressed the masses as his creativity has carried the hosts through to the knockout stages. Subsequently, his performances have forced the Blues to act quickly before the tournament comes to an end.
However, even before the World Cup, Chelsea have been keeping tabs on the Russian superstar. In December of last year, Chelsea had scouts monitoring the Russian’s progress. Chelsea wants him because they know he can improve their chances of catching Manchester City next season. In addition, indirectly they’re saying Willian’s contribution last season wasn’t good enough.
The Brazilian made 36 Premier League appearances last season, in that time he only scored six goals. At CSKA Moscow, Golovin scored five goals in nine fewer games, whilst creating 1.5 chances a game.
Like Willian, Golovin excels at dribbling and getting out of tight spaces, that’s why he successfully completed 1.5 take-ons a game last season. If that weren’t impressive enough, despite being the creative catalyst for his club, Golovin still averaged an 82.4% passing accuracy, whilst completing 48.9 passes per game. In contrast, Willian maintained 80.2% passing accuracy whilst only completing 25.7 passes a game. Chelsea have reportedly set a £71million asking price for Willian with Manchester United and Bercelona interested in his services.
Golovin is a younger, stronger and more versatile option than the 29-year-old Brazilian. The Russian also possesses more composure on the ball as he excels at holding onto the ball.
The signing of Aleksandr Golovin shows that Chelsea mean business and they’re no longer willing to settle for mediocrity. Aleksandr Golovin is an upgrade on Willian and helps build foundations for the first phase of the brand of football Maurizio Sarri wants to implement at Stamford Bridge. Aleksandr Golovin’s arrival spells the end for Willian’s Chelsea career.