It has been six and a half years since Willian joined Chelsea and while the winger has often been a divisive figure, reviews for his performances this season have been mostly positive. Sure, he’s unlikely to notch 13 goals and 12 assists this season as he did back in 2017-18, but the 31-year-old has taken on the responsibility of being the creative hub for the team, dropping into midfield at times as well, a role that the previous owner of the iconic No.10 shirt did so well for us in seasons prior.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Frank Lampard continues to implore Chelsea to end the impasse over Willian’s contract situation and “pull out all the stops” to ensure he stays with Chelsea next season. January is already here, so Willian’s representatives may have already started talking to other clubs about a pre-contract for a move in the summer —should have, in fact, if they’re any good at their jobs as agents. Barcelona, Juventus and AC Milan have all been mentioned already as possible destinations should an extension with the Blues fail to materialize. Tottenham are another club apparently interested, which would be most amusing in a way, though the fact that José Mourinho is at the helm there means this is a plausible scenario, just as it was when he made repeated overtures for Willian from Manchester United.
Also unsurprisingly, the deadlock in the negotiations between Chelsea and Willian stems from the length of the extension. Willian reportedly wants a 2-year extension; Chelsea are willing to offer only half that, in line with club principles (with David Luiz the sole exception). However, Willian has been such a pivotal figure this season that Chelsea need to think hard (and fast) about whether to keep sticking to these principles. Willian has the 6th highest Premier League minutes for Chelsea this season and is one of the few remaining senior players left. He’ll be one of only two (maybe three) players at Chelsea alongside César Azpilicueta and maybe Willy Caballero, if Pedro, Giroud and Alonso depart as expected. It is no wonder that Lampard would want Willian to stay and help guide the young squad as a new era is heralded at Chelsea.
Regardless of the final outcome, let’s get this over with quickly.