• News

Lampard not worried about Arsenal-bound Willian’s exit

Frank Lampard, Willian, Chelsea
Getty Images

Willian’s departure would leave a hole in the Chelsea squad, says Frank Lampard. But he’s equally sure they’ll survive without him as well.

Chances of Willian leaving Chelsea this month grow by each passing day amid the club’s reluctance to offer him a three-year deal, which the winger claims he would sign in an instant.

Rumours of a switch to London rivals Arsenal are getting stronger as well, with Willian allegedly in ‘advance talks over a three-year deal’. Should this be correct, Chelsea will lose him.

And it looks the Brazilian won’t even get a farewell appearance after a small Achilles injury forced him out of Chelsea’s Champions League match against Bayern Munich on Saturday.

“It does not matter if there’s a disappointment from any party, in this situation,” said Lampard, according to Goal.

“He remains our player at the moment. He was injured for the cup final and injured for tomorrow and he would have given everything to play in those game.

“I know Willian well, I have seen him. He has carried this injury a little bit in the latter part of the restart. In terms of being disappointed, certainly as a club we have done everything we can to explain [the situation] to Willian.

“Mine and his relationship is very close and I would have no feeling of disappointment if he does move on. He is a fantastic man and a fantastic player. I think he will feel like that about Chelsea. I will leave him to say his own words.

“But I don’t want anyone to try to find a negative attitude. The club have acted very well in this as well.

“If he moves on I personally will wish him well. I think he [would] leave a hole as a player who has been here for I think seven seasons, being part of successful teams.

“When I came in and we had a lot of issues in terms of younger players, players back from loan, transitional elements to the group, Willian as the one you looked at and relied on in terms of his experience and quality. He has shown me that all year. He has his own decisions to make.

“We as a club will always want to move forward, no matter what. Eden Hazard left last year; the club continues to work in a forward direction which I think we have in many ways.

“That remains the same, whatever player leaves the club.

“When a player is out of contract, they have the freedom and the right to play wherever they want.

“You have to understand that if they stay in the league and it is a player of Willian’s quality, for instance, then they will go and contribute to that team.

“We have to accept that and move on. I have no problems with that.”