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17-Year-Old Brazilian Forward Estevao Willian Joins Chelsea

17-Year-Old Brazilian Forward Estevao Willian Joins Chelsea

Palmeiras' forward Estevao Willian
Palmeiras' forward Estevao Willian celebrates after scoring a goal during the Copa Libertadores group stage first leg football match between Brazil's Palmeiras and Uruguay's Liverpool at the Allianz Parque stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 11, 2024(Image-Getty) 

Chelsea have secured the signing of Estevao Willian, a promising 17-year-old forward from Palmeiras, who will join the Blues in the summer of 2025.

Estevao Willian is the latest addition to Chelsea’s roster of young Brazilian talent, following in the footsteps of Andrey Santos, Deivid Washington, and Angelo Gabriel. 

Breakthrough Season

In the 2023/24 season, Estevao made a significant impact at the senior level, playing 10 matches in the Brazilian Serie A for Palmeiras. During these appearances, he scored two goals and provided two assists. Additionally, he found the back of the net in the Copa Libertadores and the Copa do Brasil. Estevao's impressive dribbling skills and speed have drawn comparisons to Lionel Messi, earning him the nickname "Messinho."

Estevao has also represented Brazil at the Under-17 level, making five appearances and scoring three goals.

'Best Brazilian Player Since Neymar'

Estevao has garnered high praise from notable figures in Brazilian football. Branco, a former Middlesbrough midfielder and FIFA World Cup winner, regards Estevao as the greatest Brazilian player since Neymar. 

“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.”

Youth Movement at Chelsea

Estevao is the latest in a series of young South American talents to join Chelsea, highlighting the club's commitment to investing in future stars. This strategic move aims to build a robust and dynamic squad capable of competing at the highest levels in the coming years.

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