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Willian expects Chelsea to fight on as usual despite ‘big’ changes

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Trust and confidence

Chelsea v Valencia - UEFA Champions League Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images

This season’s theme of youth revolution will certainly put the usual theme of trophy-winning to the test, but those who have been around for a while remain adamant that the Chelsea DNA remains as strong as ever. One of those accustomed to the habit is Willian, who’s collected trophies throughout his career, both in Ukraine and in England, and has won just about every competition available to him other than the Champions League.

While that’s unlikely to change this season, Willian is ready to fight for his right to party.

“I think Chelsea is Chelsea. No matter the players we have, we have to fight until the end in every competition. That’s what we want to do this season.”

That’s not to say that Willian’s naive in his approach. He knows that the departure of Eden Hazard, who often won game all by himself, will have a big effect. Losing David Luiz won’t be helpful either, certainly not in the short term. But as much as Willian rates those two, and the latter very much on a personal level as well, he’s confident the new generation can help fill the void.

“I think Hazard’s exit was a big loss. Eden is a player that can make the difference, but I think we have players that can continue to make the difference as well. Abraham is playing well at the moment. He is scoring lots of goals and I am very happy for him. The young players are doing well. They can improve a lot.”

“I am happy for Eden because it was his dream to go there. I hope he continues doing the same magic he did here. I think that he will be successful. I sure hope so.

“David and I are very close. We are very good friends. He is one of the best friends that I have in football. It is strange to see him wearing red, but we are friends. Now we have to play against each other and I have to do something against him. Yes, of course I will celebrate hard if I score against Arsenal.”

Unfortunately, next up for Chelsea are Liverpool rather than Arsenal, and they will be a much tougher challenge. But Willian’s been in good form since recovering from a hamstring injury he suffered in the Copa America semifinal this summer and he could yet make the telling impact this Sunday.

Looking beyond the immediate, Willian’s future is somewhat unknown. His Chelsea contract is up at the end of the season and contract talks haven’t progressed beyond the rumor stage. But the 31-year-old is taking a proactive approach in many respects, setting up for a future beyond just playing. He’s already part-owner of a restaurant (with David Luiz), and recently launched his own online coaching and mentorship program with much fanfare.

“I have a lot of things I can give. In this online course, we talk about frustration, never giving up, discipline and all these things that can make the difference to become a successful player. I think it will help them a lot.

”I was planning this online course about six or seven months ago with my wife and friends. We had a conversation where we can do something to make a difference in the life of young people. That’s what I want to do to make a difference in their lives. To help them achieve their purpose. I think it will be very, very interesting.”

-Willian; source: Goal

In a way, that ties in quite nicely with his current role at Chelsea, where he’s expected to lead not only on the pitch, as Chelsea’s new No.10, but also off of it, as one of the veteran leaders of the youth revolution.