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Newcastle United have been linked with an ambitious move for Real Sociedad striker Willian Jose in the summer. According to the reports, manager Rafael Benitez is looking to bring the 25-year old Brazilian striker to St. James’ Park once promotion to the Premier League is confirmed.
Willian Jose has scored 12 goals from 27 games across all competitions for the Spanish outfit and Newcastle are one of the host of clubs that are interested, with Premier League sides Southampton and Everton also considering a move for the Brazilian.
Any move on the part of Newcastle United would demonstrate serious intent as the former Brazil youth international is expected to cost around the £27 million mark.
So who is Willian Jose? What will he bring to the table? Let’s find out.
Born in Porto Calvo, Alagoas, Willian Jose started his career at local Clube de Regatas’ youth setup, before joining Gremio Barueri in 2008, aged 17. He made his first team debut in the Brazilian Serie A in August 2009, by coming on as a late substitute in a 1-2 loss at Botafogo.
In January 2011, Jose moved on to Sao Paulo FC where he was always a third choice striker behind the likes of Luis Fabiano, Dagoberto, and Osvaldo. He made 66 appearances for the team in which he scored 16 times before joining Gremio two years later. However, things did not work out for him with his new side and after playing just 9 times with 3 goals in return, Jose moved to Santos 6 months later.
In his season-long with Santos, he scored 5 goals from 28 appearances, before moving to Spain, where he earned a six-month trial spell with Real Madrid in January 2014. Playing for the Madrid ‘B’ side, he did impress, scoring 4 times from 16 games. He made his senior debut in May later that year in a 2-0 loss to Celta Vigo, but was released at the end of the season.
Jose then signed a one-year contract with Spanish side Real Zaragoza who were in the Spanish Segunda Division. He had a fairly decent season, scoring 10 goals from 38 appearances, before moving on to Las Palmas in the subsequent season.
In his debut season with Palmas, Jose once again impressed, scoring 10 goals from 34 games which earned him a move to Sociedad last summer, where he has struck 12 goals so far.
At 186cm, Willian is a strong and tall centre-forward who uses his body well to hold up the ball and bring his teammates into play. His link-up play with his peers around him is a strong feature of his game while he is also adept at playing defence splitting through balls with great accuracy. An excellent finisher, Jose is a confident player who is not afraid to have a go at the goal from distance either.
Pretty much a typical all-round centre-forward, the only thing missing from his repertoire is the defensive work rate, which is something that most managers expect from all of their players nowadays. But it is something that can be worked upon if needed.
After leaving Sao Paulo, Willian Jose hasn’t stayed for more than a season at any of his clubs and it looks possible that he will continue the trend, with the likes of Southampton, Everton, and Newcastle all chasing him.
If Newcastle manage to sign him up, it will be a huge statement of intent for the Magpies upon their return to the English top-flight, but that could also spell the end of Aleksandar Mitrovic’s time at the St. James’ Park.