On his 32nd birthday Brazilian playmaker Willian has sent a message to Chelsea football club.
Seven years after joining the club Willian has announced that he will be parting ways with the Blues. An impressive trophy haul, some match-winning goals and terrorizing opposition defenders down the right flank are but a few of the memories he is leaving with the Stamford Bridge faithful.
Willian has penned an emotional farewell to the club for whom he has registered over 300 appearances:
“AN OPEN LETTER TO THE FANS OF CHELSEA FOOTBALL CLUB
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. 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!
The time has now come to move on. I am certainly going to miss my teammates. I will miss all the staff at the club who’ve always treated me like a son and I will miss the fans. I leave with my head held high, safe in the knowledge that I won things here and always did my best in a Chelsea shirt!
My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you and God bless you!
– Willian Borges da Silva”
The veteran winger had his most productive Chelsea season but failed to reach an understanding with the club over the details of his contract extension. After reaching an impasse with Chelsea Willian’s agent Kia Joorbachian opened talks with other top clubs in England like Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. It is now being reported by the likes of David Ornstein and Fabrizio Romano that Willian is close to joining North London outfit Arsenal.
He has been given the three-year extension he was seeking by the Gunners although he has had to accept a wage reduction in the region of 20%. Arsenal are expected to announce the signing of free agent Willian within this week.
Chelsea have reinforced their attacking department after securing the signatures of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner. It remains to be seen whether the Blues will miss their talismanic wing-forward next season or not.