Estavao Willian to Chelsea: Why Brazilian is compared to Messi

According to the latest reports, the sale of Estavao Willian to Chelsea looks like it is getting closer. They have already agreed on personal terms, and are now looking to agree on a suitable transfer fee.

That is according to renowned football journalist and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, who claims that Chelsea's initial bid for Willian could be as much as €32m plus €25m in add-ons, which would exceed his release clause value of €55m.

Romano adds that Chelsea have been favourites to sign Willian since January, as the likes of Arsenal have also been reportedly interested in his signature.

Willian is nicknamed “Little Messi” –  Tom Weller/dpa – Photo by Icon sport

Estavao Willian to Chelsea: Who is the Brazilian “little Messi”?

Willian's nickname is “little Messi” or “Messinho” after the Argentine legend and possibly greatest player of all time Lionel Messi, which is somewhat strange considering he is Brazilian, and Brazil and Argentina are arch rivals.

Still, he is displaying a distinct likeness to Messi through his style of play, and promises to be another great of the game at just 17 years of age.

Indeed, Willian has scored seven goals and produced a further three assists in 18 appearances overall for Brazilian club Palmeiras so far this season, while also netting three times in five caps for Brazil's U17 side.

Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo are a testament to what good scouting of Brazilian talent can unearth – Photo: Sven Hoppe/dpa (Photo by Icon Sport)

The pool of Brazilian starlets is a market more clubs are looking into in the hope of growing them into superstars, like UEFA Champions League finalists Real Madrid have done with Vinicius Jr and Rodrygo, and will hope to do with Endrick once he officially moves to the Santiago Bernabeu next season.

Chelsea look like they want to do the same, and have already dipped into the young South American market by signing promising Ecuadorian Kendry Paez. However, these players do not come on the cheap, as with the particularly inflated fee Chelsea are willing to pay for Willian, they are also buying into his huge potential.

Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see if the 17-year-old can come close to emulating the illustrious career of the great Messi.


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Adam Clancy

Adam is a lead writer on Football Whispers. He is a big Arsenal fan, and also follows his local club Wealdstone, made famous by The Wealdstone Raider, of whom he has interviewed. Adam also follows darts, boxing, cricket and tennis, among many other sports.