ew predicted Fulham could be flying so excessive this season, and even much less tipped Willian to be one of many explanation why.
The Cottagers have been one of many tales of the season, and victory at residence in opposition to Chelsea on Thursday will transfer them to inside 4 factors of the Champions League locations. They’ve gained 4 video games in a row in all competitions because the World Cup and their transformation from yo-yo group to Euro contenders has been outstanding.
Simply as spectacular is the sensible type of Willian, particularly when you think about his finest years seemed behind him when he ripped up his Arsenal contract in 2021. The large query when the Brazilian joined Fulham on a free switch on deadline day final summer season was whether or not he may very well be something just like the participant he as soon as was at Chelsea?
Aged 34, he has been revitalised at Craven Cottage and faces his former membership on Thursday as a key participant within the Fulham aspect trying to inflict extra ache on Graham Potter. Willian has emerged as a quiet chief within the dressing room and he might be tasked with serving to Fulham take the sport to Chelsea within the absence of suspended prime scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Carlos Vinicius is ready to begin up entrance rather than Mitrovic, however supervisor Marco Silva will ask Willian to assist his aspect keep their attacking menace.
“He has high quality and he is a top player,” stated Silva. “I can say now, because I know it better each day. He is a great professional as well. Am I impressed with him? Yes. Am I surprised? No. He is a good guy, an important guy in our dressing room, even if sometimes he likes to be more quiet in his place.
“He is always there, giving his maximum. Not just on the ball, but off the ball, always with a big commitment. He is enjoying our club as well and, of course, when you have these type of players, who have made such very good careers, it’s important you have them if they can perform well.”
Chelsea followers know Willian nicely from his seven years at Stamford Bridge, however he’s a special participant now. He nonetheless operates out broad, nonetheless his sport is predicated much less on the categorical tempo he had in his prime, when he gained two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa League with the Blues.
As an alternative, Willian offers a cool head and expertise. There’s much less emphasis on flicks and tips, however slightly doing the fundamentals proper and conserving the ball transferring within the closing third. He has began the final eight Premier League video games, and Silva insists he had no doubts the expertise was there once they had talks in the summertime. “When I spoke the first time with him, it was enough. We know his quality,” stated the Fulham boss.
Willian signed solely a one-year contract with Fulham, following an unconvincing spell again in Brazil with Corinthians. Talks are set to speak place in the summertime to resolve if he stays at Craven Cottage subsequent season, with each participant and membership relaxed in regards to the state of affairs. On the proof to date, an extension appears a very good wager. Each Fulham and Willian present no indicators of slowing down.
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