It’s no secret that a number of Antonio Conte’s relationships at Chelsea fell apart towards the back end of last season. David Luiz and Willian were the two main outcasts following Diego Costa’s argument-fuelled departure to Atletico 12 months ago. The latter was heavily linked to a summer move away with Manchester United and Barcelona reportedly interested but the Brazilian wideman has now said he will be a Blues player on September 1st.
Chelsea winger Willian has blasted the club’s former manager Antonio Conte. Despite having led the Blues to FA Cup glory during his last game in charge, Conte was recently sacked as manager of the club and has been replaced by Maurizio Sarri.
Willian has broken his silence regarding his future at Chelsea, saying he intends to stick it out at Stamford Bridge following talks with Maurizio Sarri.
There has certainly been more talk of outgoings at Chelsea this summer than incomings but with just a week until the transfer window closes, it looks as though the Blues will make a signing or two. Rumours of Willian potentially leaving have reportedly forced Maurizio Sarri into considering a move for Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha.
Maurizio Sarri has revealed he looks forward to having a conversation with Willian after conveying his displeasure at the Brazilian’s late return to Chelsea following the World Cup.
One of the ongoing transfer sagas of this summer has been Real Madrid’s reported pursuit of Eden Hazard from Chelsea and as that looks to have petered out, Los Blancos are supposedly interested in bringing one of his team-mates to the Bernabeu.
In what could be seen as a massive blow for new Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri, it appears that Brazilian winger Willian sees his future away from Stamford Bridge.
Willian will be going all out against Eden Hazard and Belgium when they meet in the quarterfinals of this year’s World Cup.
Despite picking up the Players’ Player of the Season accolade at the end of season awards at Stamford Bridge, last season wasn’t Willian’s best since his arrival in London. After spending a lot more time on the bench than he would’ve expected, the Brazilian has admitted it was ‘difficult‘ as it was something he hasn’t had to get used to.
Chelsea will be looking to make a number of changes this summer as they will want to forget about the abysmal season they have had. At least one member of the squad could be prepared to leave and has been throwing shade on social media.
Chelsea’s season may not have gone so well, but there was still cause for celebration as the club held their annual awards night on Thursday.
The international break is finally over for another couple of months and the Chelsea players will be returning to Cobham with Tottenham Hotspur taking their focus on Sunday, a side that have not been able to beat the Blues at Stamford Bridge in 28 years.
With the international break halfway through this weekend as the Premier League pauses, a number of Chelsea players are keeping fit by representing their countries ahead of, for many, this summer’s World Cup tournament which takes place in Russia.
It would not be an exaggeration to call Willian Chelsea’s saviour at the moment.
The Brazilian winger, 29, has this uncanny ability to assume the mantle of Chelsea’s hero at the most opportune of times. It happened in 2015 as Chelsea attempted that lamentable defence of their Premier League title under Jose Mourinho. It was one of the most forgettable seasons in Chelsea’s history but Willian’s efforts helped to lend it some dignity.
The Blues’ title defence this time around is not nearly as bad but it has still been seriously wanting. Willian once again seems the player most ready to step up to the plate by delivering one inspiring performance after another. His goal against crystal palace was his fifth in as many games, bringing in season tally for Chelsea to 13. Only Eden Hazard has scored more this season, and Willian has never been more prolific since arriving at Stamford Bridge.
His stunning form has meant that a player who so often in the past had to settle for a place on the bench is now virtually undroppable.
Antonio Conte: Willian playing ‘fantastic’
The Chelsea boss may have preferred Pedro to Willian for most of the season so far but he was singing the number 22’s praises after the win over crystal palace.
“You can see that if a player stays in great form I’m the first to pick him in the starting XI,” Conte told his press conference. “Willian is playing in a fantastic way, but I want to underline, not only with the ball, also without the ball.
“He’s working very hard and he’s helping the team without the ball. He’s showing great maturity at this point of his career. In my heart I hope to see him at this level, to continue this performance. He’s playing very well with the ball, without the ball.
“It’s important to have balance within the game, because when we lose our balance it’s very difficult.”
This means that Willian is almost assured of his starting berth against Barcelona on Wednesday. If the speedster continues where you left off in the first leg of the tie, the likes of Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti will certainly have something to think about at Camp Nou.
Chelsea’s number 22 could easily have had a hat trick in that game had the posts not been so kind to Barcelona (and suspiciously thicker).
Ahead of the game, the player himself has spoken of his joy in having secured his spot in Conte’s Starting XI. He told Chelsea FC’s magazine on Tuesday:
“I think you have to enjoy yourself on the pitch. To play football, you have to be happy. I have to enjoy this moment now. When you start to play more games, or when you play every match, you have confidence and things are good for you, then you can keep smiling.”
If William graces the Camp Nou pitch on Wednesday, as indeed he appears likely to, every Chelsea fan will have a reason to be optimistic.
Featured image: Twitter
This season has become largely frustrating for those involved with Chelsea and has led to talk of changes being made in the near future. The club has failed to replicate the success of last term’s title-winning campaign, producing a largely mixed bag of results, including heavy defeats to the likes of AFC Bournemouth and Watford, whilst also putting in a solid performance against Barcelona in the Champions League.
On the back of a comfortable 2-0 win over Brighton, Chelsea flexed their muscles again at Stamford Bridge with a 5-0 demolition of Stoke City, who are reportedly considering the position of their manager, Mark Hughes.
Chelsea star Willian has moved to assure fans he is remaining at Stamford Bridge, despite reports linking him to both Manchester United and Palmeiras in the January transfer window.
Manchester United have made fresh enquiries into the availability of Blues winger Willian in the January transfer window next month, according to reports.
Chelsea secured a hard-fought 1-0 win over Southampton on Saturday as they kept pace in the race for Champions League football next season. Manchester City kept their incredible run going with a 4-1 thumping of Tottenham, which strengthened the Blues’ grip on third place – but Antonio Conte’s men remain 14 points behind the high-flying Citizens.
Chelsea will be looking to bounce back from defeat to rivals West Ham as they welcome an inconsistent Southampton side to Stamford Bridge. The Blues are 14 points behind Manchester City at the top of the league in what looks to be a mountain to climb to retain their Premier League title but their midweek win over Huddersfield will give Antonio Conte cause for optimism.
Chelsea made light work of a trip to the John Smith’s Stadium against a Huddersfield side who could have proved tough opponents.
Chelsea travel to Huddersfield for the inaugural Premier League meeting between the sides in what promises to be a stern test for Antonio Conte’s men. The Italian has bemoaned his team’s hectic schedule in recent weeks but with European progress now assured and the small matter of two matches against Barcelona to look forward to in the New Year, Chelsea need to focus on their domestic form if they are to maintain any sort of late charge towards regaining their Premier League title.
Chelsea missed their chance to put pressure on the Manchester clubs above them in the Premier League as they succumbed to their fourth defeat of the season at a resurgent West Ham.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup Finals draw was made last week at the Kremlin in Moscow, the main host city for the tournament next summer. The event saw all 32 teams placed into eight different groups. As one of Europe’s biggest sides, Chelsea will have a strong contingent of players on show in Russia. Blues players could feature in up to nine of the nations that will be competing next year and today, we take a look at them.
Chelsea missed their chance to clinch top spot in Champions League group C as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge. Roma’s 1-0 win over FK Qarabag was enough for them to clinch first place in the group, meaning the Blues will potentially face a tricky last-16 tie in the New Year.