Frank Lampard is determined to keep Willian despite reported interest from Barcelona and Juventus.
The Chelsea manager said he’s one of his key players in a post-match press conference (via Daily Mirror) following their 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The 31-year-old is one of the club longest-serving players, but his contract is up at the end of the season, so he could leave on a free.
Commenting on the speculation around Willian’s future, Lampard said: “The word isn’t ‘no-brainer’ because I can’t get involved in the money. That’s up to the club to do.
“But everyone sees how much I’m relying on him, and picking him and in what he is producing, I love him at this football club. So there’s my answer.”
He added: “When I looked at him at the start of the season, I saw him being huge for me and the way we want to play.
“The off-the-ball work he’s done is an absolutely outstanding example for Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian Pulisic and other young wingers who think the only part of the game is going past people and crossing or shooting. (Quotes via The Mirror)
With uncertainty at board and managerial level over the past couple of years, it may be no surprise the club haven’t tied him down to a new deal, but now Frank Lampard clearly values him, surely it is time to make an offer.
The fact such big names could be coming in for him should also have alarm bells ringing for Chelsea, because it’s clear Barcelona or Juventus believe he can perform at the high level their clubs demand.
Chelsea fielded the second-youngest starting 11 of any team this season against Palace, with an average age of 24.3, so Willian’s experience will continue to be needed as the team push to compete for trophies.
He’s on form, his manager values him, he’s being chased by global superpowers and his experience is invaluable. Why wouldn’t Chelsea want to tempt him with a large offer to stay in London?
Do Chelsea desperately need January signings?
Chelsea fans, how would you resolve the issue of Willian’s contract?Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!