Former Chelsea and Arsenal winger Willian has opened up about leaving the Blues to join the Gunners in the summer of 2020.
Willian, who currently plays for Fulham, told Sky Sports (reported via Football Daily):
“Yeah. I wish I’d never left. Yeah. Of course, it’s easy to say something now, but when I stop to think about the whole situation then yeah, I say to myself I wish I’d never left. But it’s life. I’m happy now at Fulham – enjoying myself there, so this is life.”
The Brazilian winger joined the Blues in the summer of 2013 from Anzi Makhachkala. He went on to make 339 appearances for the club, scoring 63 goals and registering 62 assists.
He was refused a three-year extension in the summer of 2020 due to Chelsea’s policy of offering short contracts to players north of 30 under the Roman Abramovich era. Having come to the end of his contract at Stamford Bridge, he joined Arsenal, who were happy to offer the then 33-year-old a three-year contract.
His stay at the Emirates, however, was cut short after a season by mutual consent. He played only 37 games for the Gunners, scoring one goal and registering seven assists.
Willian returned to the Premier League this season with Fulham. He has played 21 goals for the side from Craven Cottage, scoring three goals and assisting three more.
Chelsea lacking quality wingers post the departure of Willian
The Blues have signed a plethora of new players over the last few seasons. They have brought in several wingers like Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Mykhailo Mudryk amongst others. Despite having small periods of brilliance, no player has been able to cement a starting spot in attack for the Blues.
Chelsea are still in search of wingers who can deliver as consistently as Willian did for the club over the years alongside Eden Hazard.