It is no secret that Chelsea and Willian have been in a contract tussle in recent months, with the club refusing to budge on their offer of a two-year deal rather than providing the Brazilian with a contract of three years.
It now appears as though the South American could be about to do what so many others in blue have done (and vice-versa) as it seems he will be swapping west London for the north of the capital and joining compatriot and former team-mate, David Luiz, at Arsenal.
However, it could be a huge mistake for Frank Lampard and the Blues to let Willian leave and join their neighbours and could be as big as a mistake as the one bettors could make if they do not look at the Tipster Guide when placing their bets on the latest action.
The Brazilian winger has been a polarising figure ever since arriving at Stamford Bridge, having created a divide amongst some sections of the club’s faithful. Many are quick to criticise the 31-year-old’s contributions and consistency, whilst others have always backed him and believe he can be the club’s best player for large periods of the season.
Indeed, whilst there is an argument that his figures could perhaps be a little better, they are still rather good. Over the seven or so years he has been in SW6, Willian has gone on to record 37 goals and 39 assists in 234 Premier League appearances for the Blues. In the 339 total outings he has made for the English giants, he has 63 goals and 62 assists in total – figures that are not exactly bad.
Allowing a player with those contributions could certainly do a club like Chelsea more harm than good, as they will be losing an incredibly experienced option and one that has managed to save them with some important moments on more than one occasion.
Of course, with Christian Pulisic hitting his stride following a period of rest because of the global pandemic and an incoming Hakim Ziyech, minutes were always likely going to be limited for Willian, but his experience would have surely proved invaluable.
The Brazilian recorded four goals and two assists following the restart of the Premier League and showed a cool head at times as Lampard’s side continued in their quest for Champions League qualification.
With plenty of young talent now coming through, including Callum Hudson-Odoi, Willian could have used his experience in a mentoring capacity, whilst also providing Chelsea with the option of turning to someone who knows what it takes to get the job done when called upon. It is not like he was not prepared to stay, after all.
Indeed, if men like Pulisic and Ziyech perform as well as expected when they arrive, then the Brazilian’s absence will not be felt as much as it probably should, but if they require time to get started, the Blues could face a problem they could so easily have avoided if they handed him the three-year deal he desired.