Willian is a divisive player among Chelsea fans, but there’s no question what he means in the dressing room.
Manager after manager has favoured him over others because of his work rate, and he’s clearly a great influence off the pitch as well as a hard worker on it.
Goal.com have quotes from one of his current teammates, Antonio Rudiger, who puts in no uncertain terms how much the Brazilian means to Chelsea:
“He is a great guy and a really, really good footballer. He is calm and humble and it will be sad if I don’t see him again as a team-mate. He is not the type of player who talks that much.
“He does his thing on the pitch, just like Eden Hazard. By playing, he shows what he is about. He is a guy who dictates the game and not many players in the world have this type of quality.”
Those comments, especially the comparison to Eden Hazard, are pretty huge compliments, are not ones you would hear from every Chelsea fan.
But it just goes to show much the winger means to the team and his teammates, and how much of a loss he will be when he departs at the end of this week when his contract expires – assuming a deal can’t be found by then.
Maybe it will only be once he’s gone that he is fully appreciated by the doubters. That’s so often the way with players like Willian.