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Copa America 2019: Can Willian be a perfect replacement for Neymar Jr. in Brazil's starting lineup

ANALYST
Feature
323   //    09 Jun 2019, 08:10 IST

Neymar Jr- Brazil
Neymar Jr- Brazil

With Brazilian Superstar Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior ruled out of Brazil's Copa America squad, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) picked Willian to fill the void.

A few days ago, Neymar injured his right ankle while playing a friendly match against Qatar. Losing a player like Neymar would undoubtedly hamper the team's morale.

However, even without Neymar, the frontline is looking good on paper with the likes of Phillipe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Richarlison.But their current form, especially of Coutinho and Richarlison, could be a cause for concern for Tite.

Last season, Neymar missed a hefty number of games for Paris Saint-Germain due to his long-term ankle injury. He only scored 15 goals and provided seven assists from 17 league matches. Though it was an average season for the PSG No.10, an impact player like Neymar was needed in this Brazil squad.

Without any further ado, it's time to focus on Neymar's replacement, Willian Borges da Silva. Willian plays his professional football for Chelsea FC.

Though he is regarded as one of the best wingers in the Premier League, the 2018/19 campaign was not a convincing one for Willian. He netted only three goals and provided six assists from 32 Premier League appearances while keeping a shooting accuracy of 55%. He also had an average passing accuracy of 86% last season for The Blues.

His unsatisfactory performances for Chelsea kept him out of the Copa America squad when it was announced for the first time. Now, he has got his chance and is determined to show the world what he can do with his own abilities.

Verdict

Brazil will play their first match against Bolivia on 14th June. As it is going to be Brazil's first appearance in Copa America 2019, it is expected that Tite would like to opt for his strongest side.

In the absence of Neymar, Phillipe Coutinho is expected to be used as the left winger. Roberto Firmino should start in the centre-forward position. Now, if we take a look Brazil squad, we will find there are two players who can actually play in the right-wing position.

With David Neres doesn't have that much experience in national colours, Tite should go for Willian. Though Willian isn't a like-for-like replacement for Neymar, Brazil fans could expect some glorious moments from this 30-year-old Samba star.

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