Willian may have been kept quiet for good portions of Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Lille last night, but it was his amazing volley that restored the lead and eventually proved to be the winner for the Blues on the night. It was Willian’s second goal in just as many games, and his 300th appearance for Chelsea to boot, further underlining his continuing importance to the team even as the youth revolution keeps picking up steam.
It’s the sort of form that should give him an edge at the contract extension negotiating table, especially with recent rumors of interest from Barcelona and Juventus as well. But so far, there’s no progress to report.
“No, no, nothing [on the contract yet]. [But] yes, I am still relaxed. I am calm, I am relaxed. I wait for the club.”
The ball appears to be firmly in Chelsea’s court then, at least for now, just as Lampard had hinted at it yesterday as well. But the situation is probably not that simple.
Given that Willian’s over 30, Chelsea are unlikely to offer anything more than a single year extension. Willian had wanted a two-year deal earlier this year, which would break with standard club policy. Chelsea did break those rules for David Luiz, but his sudden absconding to Arsenal will have surely ensured that Chelsea would staunchly re-commit to those policies.
Willian’s now into his seventh season at Stamford Bridge, and there’s little he’s left to prove or win with the club. If this is to be his last season here, he will leave us with plenty of good memories (and a select few bad ones, but no one’s perfect).
But until then, there are games to be won and youth to nurture, and as one of the veteran leaders of the team, Willian will be counted on to contribute greatly to both of those goals.
“[Tammy] can become one of the best strikers in the world. He is only 22 and he has everything.
“I’ve played with good players, good strikers like Diego Costa and Fernando Torres. Now Tammy can become one of the best. I don’t know if he can be better than them but I think he can, potentially.
“He just has to improve every day because in football you need to do that.”
And Chelsea will have to keep improving every day as well.
“If you want to go to the next round, we needed the win [last night]. Now we have to carry on the same way. We have to play Ajax there and must do the same job.”
-Willian; source: Evening Standard
The momentum’s building. Let’s keep it going!