EPL

Willian has proved his worth to Chelsea - Lampard hopes winger gets new deal

By Sports Desk July 03, 2020

Willian has done enough to earn a new contract at Chelsea, according to head coach Frank Lampard.

Experienced winger Willian agreed to remain with the Blues until the end of the Premier League campaign, with his deal having been due to expire last week.

The Brazil international, who turns 32 in August, has scored three times and set one up in his four appearances since the season resumed following its three-month suspension amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Lampard remains hopeful Chelsea can reach a resolution with Willian to keep him at Stamford Bridge.

"I haven't given up hope on it, the club are still in discussions with him," said Lampard.

"We want him to stay at the club but I also appreciate the fact this contract for Willian is a big deal because of his age and where he's at, I've been there before myself and I respect that.

"But the way he's playing at the minute I think shows his worth to the squad and the group. It's something I hope we can get to.

"Whatever way [it goes] with Willian, he's been a great servant to the club and if we can get it I'll be happy, if not I'll wish him well because I've got a lot of time for him as a player and in the short term we can see what he's doing for us. It's ongoing is the short answer."

Saturday's meeting with Watford will mark a year since Lampard took over Chelsea amid a transfer embargo and with Eden Hazard having departed for Real Madrid.

The fourth-placed Blues are on course to qualify for the Champions League, which Lampard feels would be a significant feat given the circumstances.

However, he acknowledged they will be expected to kick on next season.

"I don't want to measure ourselves against other clubs, we all have our own issues. The expectation [was low] at the start of the season – and quite rightly, even myself I'm a realist and coming in knowing we'd lost Eden and the input he had individually at the club alone was huge and how do we work around that," said Lampard.

"I think we've found good ways to work around it with development of the youth, the performances of some of the senior players, the way we're trying to play.

"We're nowhere near the finished article but [with] some of the style of play stuff we've found really good levels at times.

"We're going up against two of the best club teams in the world [next season] … so we may find that the curve looks slightly different. We have to fight against that and try to close the gap as quickly as we can, in whatever way we can.

"I'm pretty pleased and I'm always a perfectionist and want more, but it means nothing if we don't finish off the season well.

"So these next games until the end of the season are huge for us to try to say we're pleased at the end of the season, because if we get in the Champions League spots of course I'll be very, very pleased."

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