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Transfer Battle: Willian vs Pedro

Eden Hazard was once again on the scoresheet when he fired Chelsea into a 1-0 lead against Liverpool last weekend at Stamford Bridge.

The Belgian’s goal was his sixth of the Premier League season and followed his beautiful winner, which came a few days prior in the Carabao Cup against the same opposition to send them crashing out of the competition.

It was not, however, enough this time for Chelsea to claim victory over Jurgen Klopp’s men with Daniel Sturridge’s spectacular strike just before stoppage time ensuring the game ended 1-1 and the points were shared.

Nevertheless, it was still another man-of-the-match performance from Hazard, who the Blues boss Maurizio Sarri believes alongside Willian and Pedro, should easily score more than 10 goals this campaign (via Goal).

And with both Alvaro Morata and Olivier Giroud struggling to find the back of the net, the Italian coach will definitely be needing the likes of Willian and Pedro to do their fair share in attack.

Willian

At the end of last season, it became clear that Willian had become frustrated with life at Chelsea under former manager Antonio Conte.

The Brazilian famously covered up Conte’s face with trophy emojis on his Instagram post of Chelsea players and staff celebrating the club’s FA Cup triumph over Manchester United and was later linked with a move to Barcelona (via Sky Sports).

Conte’s sacking and the appointment of Sarri, however, was enough to persuade Willian to remain at Stamford Bridge, which would have delighted a lot of Chelsea supporters.

Since snubbing Tottenham back in the summer of 2013 for the Blues, the Brazil international has become a bit of a cult hero to some, playing his part in the club’s 2015 and 2017 Premier League title victories as well as being one of the more consistent performers in the disastrous season that came in between.

That being said, Willian has yet to score double digits in any of his four Premier League seasons at Stamford Bridge, something that will need to change if Chelsea are to be serious title contenders this term.

TT Grade: B

Pedro

After Hazard, Pedro looks to be the player benefiting most from Sarri being installed into the Stamford Bridge dugout.

Like Willian, last campaign, Pedro found himself making a lot of his appearances from the bench, while the Spaniard also failed to recapture the form he displayed in Chelsea’s most recent title triumph.

He could only muster up four goals in 31 Premier League games and, overall, for a player of his quality was pretty poor.

However, this term, Pedro has already managed to find the back of the net on three occasions and in the three games Chelsea have played in his absence against West Ham and Liverpool, the team have been lacking in that right half space Pedro operates in.

TT Grade: B

TT Verdict:

It is quite clear that Chelsea’s attack is very lopsided, perhaps more so than any of their Premier League rivals.

Chelsea’s right-hand side is significantly weaker compared to its counterpart on the left, and Willian and Pedro have to take responsibility for that.

For players of their ability, the numbers they are producing are simply not good enough.

However, with Sarri — a more offensive minded manager — now at the helm, that is something that should start to change.

And looking at how Pedro performed in a similar set up during his time at Barcelona, the 31-year-old will probably be the more valuable asset to the new Chelsea boss.

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Article title: Transfer Battle: Willian vs Pedro

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