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“I wish I never left” – Why £30m Chelsea star regretted leaving in 2020



(Photo by Glyn Kirk/Pool via Getty Images)

Willian has explained why he regrets leaving Chelsea for Arsenal back in 2020 on a free transfer.

The 34-year-old joined Chelsea in the summer of 2013 when the Blues hijacked Spurs’ deal for the Brazil international to complete the £30 million transfer from Anzhi Makhachkala.

Willian went on to make 339 appearances for the Stamford Bridge outfit, scoring 63 goals and providing 62 assists.

After seven years at the club, Willian won two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup and the Europa League to conclude his trophy haul at Chelsea.

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But then Willian opted to leave the club in 2020 to join London rivals Arsenal, citing winning the Champions League as a key reason. At the time, he said: “I was at Chelsea for seven years and won everything except the Champions League. Hopefully this move will give me the trophy I haven’t got as well as another Premier League title.”

His move to the Emirates didn’t work out and in September 2021 he agreed to mutually terminate his contract. Willian ended up returning to Brazil for a short period before joining Chelsea’s west London rivals Fulham in September 2022 on a one-year deal.

It’s been a successful stint for Willian back in the capital, who is enjoying his football again.

The former Chelsea winger opened up, prior to Fulham’s 3-0 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday afternoon in the Premier League, over his regret of leaving the Blues for the Gunners in 2020.

He said: “Yeah, I wish I never left (Chelsea). Of course, It’s easier to say something now, but when I stop to think about all the situation, I say to myself ‘I wish I never left’.

“But it’s life, I’m happy now, I’m at Fulham enjoying myself there, it’s life.”

On Arsenal’s current position, Willian added: “Yeah, they are flying, they are flying now. It was in the middle of the, it was changing a lot, I was excited when I signed with them. I was training hard, but it just didn’t work. That’s it.”

Willian has made 21 appearances for Fulham, who have made a strong start to life back in the Premier League, scoring three goals and providing as many assists.

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