Remember that time when Tottenham Hotspur almost signed Willian? Well, according to one source they might again be close to signing him again. Football Insider, writing on a “source close to Tottenham,” is reporting that Jose Mourinho is keen to make the 31-year old winger his first summer signing.
So, yeah, Football Insider has a pretty hit-or-miss record when it comes to transfer rumors. They’re right about some things, way off the mark on others, but they do tend to have actual sources at clubs. There’s been murmurs in other, less reputable outlets that Mourinho is keen on bringing back his former player at his current club.
I’m a little on the fence about this particular rumor. On the one hand, Willian is getting up there in years and probably doesn’t have too much longer before he trails off and finishes his career at somewhere like LA Galaxy or Miami FC. It also doesn’t exactly seem like a priority signing by any means — Spurs are kind of stocked at attacking midfielder when healthy, so you’d think that if Willian comes in that someone’s going to have to make way.
If that’s the case, the player most likely to make way is probably Erik Lamela. Mourinho clearly likes his effort and attitude, and I personally irrationally love him to the point that I will wear sackcloth and ashes when he does leave the club, but it’s becoming clear that his role on this Spurs team is late match impact substitute, at best. A 31 year old Willian may not be a clear upgrade on Lamela, but Willian would at least not spend the majority of the season in injury recovery.
So we’ll track this. Obviously we won’t know for a while, but it does make a certain sort of sense, and bringing in an experienced player whom he’s worked with before is certainly the modus operandi of Mourinho. It’s not sourced well and there’s a long time before this actually matters, but I’m calling this rumor “plausible.”
That’s also assuming that another club doesn’t sign Willian halfway through his Tottenham medical. Again. Mourinho should probably just confiscate his phone at the front door.