Willian performance at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last weekend highlighted just why Frank Lampard is keen to see the Brazilian’s future at Chelsea resolved.
While much of the focus this season has been trained on the outstanding contribution of the youngsters in Blues manager Lampard’s squad, Willian’s performances on the right of a front three have been consistently excellent.
The winger appeared to have lost his way in recent seasons, particularly last term when he struggled for consistency under Maurizio Sarri and appeared in danger of leaving the London club.
This campaign has been different, though, and Lampard will hope the player can inspire a return to home form when Southampton visit Stamford Bridge on Thursday following Chelsea’s impressive 2-0 defeat of Jose Mourinho’s Spurs.
– Season of transition –
Willian was certainly the stand-out performer in a display Lampard admitted was probably his side’s best of the season after a worrying run of form that had brought four defeats in the previous five Premier League games, included home losses to Bournemouth and West Ham.
There were always going to be frustrating periods for Lampard and his players in what is a season of transition for for Chelsea, who are nevertheless now fourth in the Premier League.The task of bedding in a number of graduates from the club’s academy against the backdrop of the pre-season transfer embargo has inevitably presented challenges.
Willian, though, has maintained impressively high levels, appearing rejuvenated under the club’s new manager.Certainly Lampard appears to have found the key to drawing the best out of the 31-year-old whose work on the right has contributed to striker Tammy Abraham making such a significant impact in his breakthrough season at west London club Chelsea.
Willian’s work ethic had been questioned previously, with his failure to track back and support his full-back at times highlighted last season.This time around, there can be no doubt about his willingness to put in the hard yards.And he has strengthened his hand in his contract negotiations with the club as he seeks a new deal that will keep him at Chelsea beyond the end of this season.
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