Thiago Silva tried to tempt Willian back to Chelsea during Brazilian’s difficult spell at Arsenal
- Winger left Stamford Bridge in 2020
- Spent one season at Emirates Stadium
- Now back in England with Fulham
WHAT HAPPENED? Willian crossed London in 2020 when swapping Stamford Bridge for Emirates Stadium, with Silva making his way to England in that same summer as he departed Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent. While the veteran defender has thrived at Chelsea, Willian found the going tough at Arsenal and was allowed to head back to his homeland and link up with Corinthians after one forgettable season with the Gunners that delivered a solitary goal through 37 appearances.
WHAT THEY SAID: Silva has told ESPN Brasil of his bid to bring the two-time Premier League champion back to Stamford Bridge: “Willian is special. I have a special affection for this kid, as a player and off the pitch as a person. Before he left for Corinthians, I tried to bring him back [to Chelsea], but unfortunately things didn’t advance, they didn’t work. I knew he was a very important player.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Willian took in 339 appearances for Chelsea across seven years on their books, scoring 63 goals, and collected League Cup, FA Cup and Europa League winners’ medals during his time with the Blues to go alongside the league crowns he helped to secure.
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WHAT NEXT? Willian will take in another reunion with Chelsea on Friday, with Fulham – the club the 34-year-old winger joined in the summer of 2022 – readying themselves for a Premier League derby date with west London neighbours at Stamford Bridge.