Chelsea Transfer News: Willian Adds to Jose Mourinho's Selection Problems

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistAugust 25, 2013

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06:  Willian of Shakhtar Donetsk talks to the media during a Shakhtar Donetsk Training Session and Press Conference ahead of tomorrow's UEFA Champion's League match between Chelsea and FC Shakhtar Donetsk at Stamford Bridge on November 6, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Jose Mourinho and Roman Abramovich have never heard the saying, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.”

With the official announcement on the Chelsea FC website of Willian’s Stamford Bridge arrival, Chelsea’s broth is more enticing than ever. Mourinho must favour the attacking-midfield flavour, as right now, the Portuguese manager is stewing in world-class options who could help his team to major success.

While the Blues are more than equipped to challenge across all competitions this season, the heartiness of Chelsea’s offensive options is something that will cause the returning boss huge problems. With Willian added to the ranks, Mourinho’s selection dilemma will only worsen.

Chelsea’s attacking talent are already being forced to split their time between playing football and sitting on the bench. For £30 million, as reported by David Ornstein of BBC Sport, Willian is not expected to get comfy on the sideline.

Taking a look at the first-team players he must compete with, as highlighted by Chelsea's official squad listing, let’s break down the amount of minutes each individual has appeared in this season.


Player name2013/14 Premier League appearances (out of two matches)Total playing time (out of 180 minutes)
Frank LampardTwo180
Eden HazardTwo180
Juan MataOne65
Kevin De BruyneOne67
Andre SchurrleTwo48
Marco van GinkelTwo11
Victor MosesZeroZero
Lucas PiazonZeroZero
Fernando TorresOne75
Demba BaOne65
Romelu LukakuTwo40

The list of talent is extensive and hugely exciting. Even so, Mourinho has a daunting task to keep all of his players happy. The minutes listed fail to consider that Mata has endured fitness problems and is likely to receive more time on the pitch across the coming weeks.

It also overlooks younger members of the club who have the potential to push for a start in the future. The likes of Josh McEachran, Thorgan Hazard, Gael Kakuta and Patrick Bamford will all have plans to make an impression soon.

While Mourinho has suggested he is looking to loan some of his unneeded players out, as highlighted by Chelsea’s official site, this is a short-term solution to a problem that is likely to cause unrest.

What’s more, the former Real Madrid manager has indicated he will launch a third bid for Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney, as reported by Adam Crafton of the Daily Mail. While the Englishman's potential arrival is another thrilling prospect for the club's supporters, it's bad news for the likes of Torres, Ba and Lukaku, who continue to battle for starting places.

Mourinho must be given time to build his own squad, but stacking numbers at Chelsea adds greater pressure to both the manager and his players. He isn't a prolific promoter of young talent, as summed up by his decision to barely utilise Real Madrid starlets such as Alvaro Morata and Jese Rodriguez, but he must satisfy the needs of squad members who are vying for his attention.

With every appearance, each player must perform to the best of his ability. Should Willian enjoy a terrific start to his Premier League career, a knock-on effect will see somebody else fall down the pecking order.

Many will suggest Chelsea's vast wealth of talent is a good problem to have. While everything is fine and dandy at the start of the season, players who fail to receive significant game time across the campaign will become frustrated sooner or later.

As Mourinho's second tenure with Chelsea gains momentum, such a situation threatens to sour the feel-good feeling of a squad that has quickly bloated. One day soon, it is likely to burst.