Willian has been allowed to return to Brazil to be with his family, Chelsea announced today.
The Brazilian’s family returned to his home country a few weeks ago at the start of the coronavirus outbreak. He had been pleading with the club for permission to go back, and he has now been given the green light.
Daily Telegraph were the first with the report, and they say that have given the former Anzhi man permission to go on “compassionate leave”, despite the players being expected to return to training in April.
For some time it wasn’t clear whether Chelsea would let Willian go, and whether they wanted to set that kind of precedent. But in the end they’ve relented. The report in the Telegraph says that similar requests from other players will be judged on a “case by case basis”.
That sounds like a good way to try and avoid trouble, but it’s no guarantee. If things get really bad, it could be hard to stop half the squad leaving – on the other hand, with no football on the horizon, would that really be a bad thing?