Willian Confirms Chelsea Departure, Arsenal Move Draws Closer


Brazilian forward Willian has confirmed his exit from Chelsea and said his formal goodbyes to the club and their supporters. Following the Blues’ 4-1 loss at Bayern Munich in the Champions League yesterday, the 32-year-old penned an open letter to fans.

His move to arch-rival Arsenal isn’t finalized and announced yet, but according to multiple outlets, it won’t be long until the transaction is made official. With his current contract completed, wherever he is goes next will be on a free transfer. 

According to reports, Chelsea only offered the winger two more years and he was looking for three. Arsenal have reportedly beat out FC Barcelona and Inter Miami in the derby sign Willian.

“They were seven wonderful years. In August 2013 when I received the offer from Chelsea, I was convinced that this was where I had to play,” wrote in his open letter to fans.

“Today I am certain that it was the best of decisions. There were so many happy times, some sad, there were trophies and it was always very intense.

“Yet, beyond the trophies, I learnt a lot about myself. I developed a great deal, becoming a better player and a better person.

“With each training session, with each game, with every minute spent in the dressing room, I was always learning.”


“I am really grateful to the Chelsea fans for the affectionate way they welcomed me at Stamford Bridge and their support throughout my time at the club.

“There was also criticism, which is normal, what is important though is that both the affection and criticism drove me to always give my all in every training session, every game, to be constantly improving until my very last minute in a Chelsea shirt!”

With Willian and also Pedro gone from the Chelsea final third, it’s easy to see why Stamford Bridge is working so hard to land Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen. The southwest London club has already signed attacking players Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner for the upcoming season.

Chelsea still have plenty of work to do in the summer transfer market, and Blues boss Frank Lampard knows it.

“We’ll look at that, because that’s our job,” he said after his side’s final match of the 2019-20 season last night.

“From having a transfer ban [last year] you feel we’ve missed where other clubs spent and improved … recruitment is a huge part of this game.”

He recognized the rebuilding project ahead of him at the Bridge.

“Nights like this in a footballing sense, show me a lot, tell me a lot,” he added.

“In the last 20 years we had players, teams with prime [Eden] Hazard, [Diego] Costa, [Petr] Cech, [John] Terry and [Didier] Drogba,” Lampard continued.

“Competing for the Premier League year on year, getting to finals and semifinals regularly. We know that’s not the case now … It’s not a slight work in progress. It’s a work in progress. It’s not the norm for Chelsea.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for Chicago Tribune.comon Twitter and his cat on Instagram.

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