New £48m Chelsea signing ‘greatest Brazilian since Neymar’ as Romano confirms interest in Boca wonderkid

Joe Williams
Chelsea signing Estevao Willian
Estevao Willian has been compared to Brazil legend Neymar.

New Chelsea signing Estevao Willian is the “greatest player born in Brazil” since Neymar, according to World Cup winner Branco.

The Blues have reached an agreement worth €57m (£48m) with Palmeiras for Estevao, with the west London club paying €34m up front and a further €23m in potential add-ons.

17-year-old Estevao will not join Chelsea until he turns 18 next year with highly-rated Ecuador international Kendry Paez set to move to Stamford Bridge at the same time.

Estevao is already making pundits and former players sit up and take notice in his homeland despite only making 22 appearances for Brazilian side Palmeiras.

And Branco reckons Estevao is the “greatest player” he’s seen “born in Brazil” since Neymar with Chelsea set to land one of the best prospects in world football.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve had these kids there and Brazil has a spectacular generation,” Branco told Canal WAMO.

“Brazil for 2026 will arrive very strong, they’ll arrive with strength, speed and quality.

“Estevao, for me, with all due respect to the others, this is something serious, something that I’ve never said and I’m going to say – since Neymar, he is the greatest player I’ve seen born in Brazil.

“This is my opinion, you’ve seen him close, you know. This is Brazil, they’re all spectacular but this boy, his ceiling is a bit higher.”

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Palmeiras have a rich history of bringing through exciting young players and their head coach, Abel Ferreira, insists he’s “scared” that Chelsea could take more of their young players.

Ferreira said: “For Chelsea, what I’m afraid of is that nobody else will leave, not staff, players, coaches, but nobody. Let them leave us alone. We want temptation to stay away.

“I just hope Chelsea don’t take anyone else. I’m even scared. There’s a lot of good work going on at the academy.

“Since we arrived here, there hasn’t been a week when four or five players haven’t come to train with us.”

And Chelsea are after more young talent from South America with transfer expert Fabrizio Romano confirming the Premier League club’s interest in Boca Juniors’ Aaron Anselmino.

Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column: “Chelsea’s interest in Boca Juniors’ talent Aaron Anselmino is genuine and the Premier League club are looking into how to complete a deal for the 19-year-old talent. Discussions are ongoing with all parties involved to understand the details of the release clause in the Argentine’s contract, which is set at $25m. There has been no formal proposal yet, but for sure Chelsea are monitoring him among many talents for the future.

“It remains to be seen how strong Chelsea will push for Anselmino as he is a very talented centre-back. Many clubs in Europe have been monitoring him from Spain and Italy, but I can say that Chelsea are now the frontrunners for the player.”