As Willian’s Chelsea future is up in the air, Jack (@isoncfc) sets out his case as to why Willian should stay at the club beyond the end of the season.
After his excellent performance on Wednesday night at the London Stadium, Willian is a key man to watch and I am going to tell you why you shouldn’t be surprised if he does sign another contract.
Wednesday night’s performance epitomised why there is often so much frustration surrounding the player. Despite losing the game 3-2, Willian provided both goals with a good penalty and an extremely accurate free kick which goalkeeper Łukasz Fabiański stood absolutely no chance of stopping. These were Willian’s seventh and eight goals of the season and he has also contributed five assists in the Premier League. Both Willian and Christian Pulisic have looked bright in attack for Chelsea since the restart but Willian’s fate at the end of the season is seemingly not decided.
Nobody can deny that Willian loves Chelsea. Who can blame him? Willian and Chelsea have enjoyed an extremely productive seven years together, winning five trophies in total. Whilst he loves Chelsea, he also clearly has an affinity for London and is extremely settled here with his young family. So it’s no surprise that both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have been mentioned as likely future destinations when his contract runs out in August. The more likely of these two is surely Arsenal, who desperately need a player of Willian’s pedigree in their squad. Whilst he wouldn’t take them to the next level, it’s hard to see how both parties wouldn’t benefit from the move.
But, back to this season. You can forgive fans for being slightly frustrated with the nature of Willian’s performances this season. Half his Premier League goals have come in two games; away to Tottenham Hotspur and away to West Ham. Nobody is criticising these games, but it does make you wonder what sort of player he could be if the drive is there in every game because these games show you just how good he can be. Furthermore, of his eight goals, just four have come from open play and again, three out of the eight have come since the Premier League restarted.
It’s not a direct criticism of Willian, it just leaves you wondering “What if?”. Everybody remembers his performance against Barcelona at home in February 2018. On an off-night for Eden Hazard, Willian stole the show against a Barcelona side featuring the greatest player of all time and he was desperately unlucky not to get a hat-trick after hitting the post twice.
Willian has to stay for one more year at Chelsea. In these last few games he’s shown us that their is still energy in the tank and the experience he can bring to the side provides the perfect mesh between younger players and proven winners. Whilst the stopping point is seemingly Willian wanting three years and the club only willing to offer two, I firmly believe an agreement will be reached with his form lately.
If Willian can accept that he won’t be starting week in week out, then the club should do everything they can to keep him. With Timo Werner likely being brought in to challenge Tammy Abraham, that leaves three wingers in Willian, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic as well as Hakim Ziyech who could be deployed in a wide role depending on the game. By locking down Willian for another year, it means that funds can continue to be diverted to a certain young German as well as our leaking defence.
With his future still up in the air, expect another very strong showing from Willian tonight.
What are your views on Willian? Let us know in the comments section below!