Today is the first day of the rest of the Premier League season, and that’s great (probably). Normally, the season would’ve been long over by now of course, but thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re dealing with a three month delay on things.
But not everything’s delayed. Player contracts are still expiring or rolling over on June 30, as always. And for two first-team Chelsea players, that means that their futures are up in the air in two weeks, with no long-term, no short-term, and not even a temporary one-month extension (as allowed by the new temporary regulations) signed.
Those two players are of course Willian and Pedro, as you might have surmised, and while the narrative just last month seemed to indicate their willingness to play out the season with the Blues one way or another, they look no closer to signing even temporary deals let alone proper extensions.
That’s the word from Chelsea insider Matt Law of the Telegraph, who reports that head coach Frank Lampard has been “making plans” for finishing out much of the rest of the season without the two veterans, at least one whom has been practically an ever-present this season still. Willian may not have filled the shoes of the previous owner of the No.10 shirt (no surprise there), but he’s continued to provide reliable and always available service (no surprise there either). And even Pedro stepped up to the plate when needed just before the pandemic, when the injury bug really hit the squad again.
While Chelsea should (ironically?) come back a much healthier squad post-pandemic, the veteran presence of Willian and Pedro could’ve been useful still as we try to finish in the top-four.
It’s hard to fault either Willian or Pedro for not wanting to risk injury while trying to figure out their next career moves, though Chelsea do have until next Tuesday (June 23) to tender temporary extensions.