He is the gem Chelsea stole from right under the noses of Tottenham Hotspur. The Brazilian is with Chelsea since 2013, through the highs and lows. After nearly seven years of service, Willian’s contract will expire end of this season, and Chelsea is reluctant to give him a long term extension. Willian is demanding a long term contract as he doesn’t want to relocate from the capital. What should Chelsea do?
Willian has made 232 appearances for the Blues, scoring 37 goals and assisting 33 while winning the Premier League twice. The stats may not be mouthwatering and he has struggled with inconsistencies at some point in his career, but he has always been a loyal servant to the blues. He is on the wrong side of his 30s, and Chelsea has the history of not giving their old guns a lengthy extension.
The story this season
Willian is in fine form this season. He has made 34 appearances under Frank Lampard in the Premier League, scoring nine and assisting seven. He has total goal involvement of 16, which is only bettered by Tammy Abraham in the Chelsea squad. The assist tally of seven is the most by any Chelsea player and has created 85 chances to date.
Chelsea lost their most prominent player in Eden Hazard to Real Madrid. For an individual, it nearly impossible to replace the quality that Eden Hazard offers, so we can’t precisely say Willian has stepped up. It is safe to say that it was a collective effort to replace the attacking void left by Eden Hazard, and Willian did have an influential role in it. Why do we say so? The goal tally of eight goals is Willian’s best figures in the Premier League.
The appointment of Frank Lampard is the beginning of a new era at Stamford Bridge. With the transfer ban imposed, the Chelsea legend decided to give it a go by trusting his youth academy products. So far, the plan has exceeded expectations, and the role of senior players like Willian and César Azpilicueta has been influential in the dressing room.
Willian, what next for him?
The Brazilian’s contract will expire at the end of the season. Where will he go next? Willian wants to stay in London, but Chelsea is reluctant to give him a three-year-contract as the Brazilian demands. With the ban uplifted, there will be a plethora of options in attack for the Blues. Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner are incoming, Callum Hudson-Odoi is getting better day by day, and Christian Pulisic is not slowing down. So even he happens to extend the deal, he will not be more than a squad player.
Even if that’s the case, Willian is happy to play his part in the Blue colors. He wants to stay in London as long as he can. That’s highlights the fact that there are other clubs in London, who will be happy to get Willian under their colors. He will be a great addition to any team, and if it free, never better. Frank Lampard understands his value and doesn’t want to lose him. Willian doesn’t want to leave either. Now it’s up to the Chelsea board to make the decision.