After what many fans seem to consider the bemusing choice of Chelsea to invest over £25 million on another attacking minded player in Anzhi’s Willian, the questionable motives of this transfer seem particularly key. As the effects of stealing the Brazilian International from under the noses of rivals Tottenham, may not effect the bank balance so directly but give a startling impression of the method behind the apparent Chelsea madness to sign him.
This signing – as many are – was not only about securing the player but giving a sense that as close as Willian was to joining the Lilywhites that Chelsea barged in and stole the player. Even though the transfer came to nearly £30million it seems that they were more than willing to complete this transfer more than anything to put Tottenham ‘in their place’ in the minds of Chelsea fans and the deal was hugely popular around Stamford Bridge for this reason.
Not only this deal has this implication, the obvious effects of £24 million man, Robin Van Persie, last season were not only about Manchester United winning the league and taking Arsenal’s best player to subsequently weaken them but there was a larger than life effect on the Arsenal fans to really hammer home to them the fall they had taken that they were no longer on a par with Manchester United and not only boosted and stature of United but left the Gunners feeling dejected and inferior.
Several examples exist of such stature implications in transfers, Manchester City’s raid from Arsenal was clear to push Arsenal down the Premier League hierarchy as Adebayor, Clichy, Nasri and Toure left North London for Manchester that was not so pivotal on weakening Arsenal due to the money they gained but the rejection of staying at the Gunners to move to City was painful for many fans to take.
These deals are common, when Real Madrid have previously bought players with the key intention to stop their rivals having them but to promote their own image as a ‘bigger club’, which Chelsea have tried to do over Spurs with the Willian transfer – a vast amount of money to waste on such a project but such is the way that the sport is driven by egos with bottomless pits of money.