End of an era…
Sunday night was a quiet one for news about players coming in to Chelsea but Pedro and Willian announced that they will be leaving the club. Pedro has been around for 5 seasons now while Willian has been around for 7 and the two have won many trophies at the club over that period of time.
Pedro joined Chelsea in 15/16 from Barcelona after Chelsea had won the league the previous season. That season Chelsea finished 10th in the league as Pedro made 43 appearances for the club adding 9 goals and 3 assists in the process. 16/17 saw Pedro win the Premier League title with Conte and probably have his best season at the club, he made 43 appearances scoring 13 goals and adding 12 assists. 17/18 was another poor season from Chelsea’s point of view as we finished 5th in the league but we won the FA Cup as Pedro made 48 appearances but only managed 7 goals and 5 assists. 18/19 saw Sarri join the club and Pedro had a bit of a resurgence as he made 52 appearances for the club and scored 13 goals with 5 assists while adding the Europa League to his cabinet. This season Pedro didn’t feature much under Lampard only making 23 appearances for the club scoring 2 goals and getting 3 assists. Pedro dislocated his shoulder in his final appearance for the club against Arsenal in the FA Cup final. Pedro is one of the most decorated football players in world football having won every single trophy available to him as a player. I will remember Pedro fondly an extremely nice player who was professional throughout his time at the club. The Spaniards energy on the pitch was infectious and there was some brilliant moments throughout the seasons, whether he was tracking back and making tackles then carrying the ball forward or scoring left foot curlers. The legend now joins Roma and will want to add further trophies to his cabinet.
Willian joined the club in 13/14 as Mourinho returned to the club for his 2nd stint in charge. The Happy One gave Willian 42 appearances in his first season as he scored 4 goals and provided 7 assists in all competitions. The Brazilian won no trophies in his first season at club. 14/15 saw Chelsea win the league and the Carabao Cup under Mourinho as Willian made 49 appearances but only managed 4 goals and 5 assists for the club. 15/16 saw Mourinho sacked and Chelsea finish 10th but Willian had his 2nd best season with the club as he made 49 appearances for the club scoring 11 goals and providing 10 assists. 16/17 saw Willian win his 2nd Premier League title as he made 41 appearances scoring 12 goals and making 5 assists. Willian won the FA cup in 17/18 as he made 55 appearances for the club scoring 13 goals and providing 12 assists. This was the season though that I lost my respect for him after he blocked Conte off with footballs in his title winning post showcasing an extreme lack of professionalism. Sarri would boost Willian’s mood once again as he would make 56 appearances for the club in 18/19 scoring 8 goals and providing 14 assists as Chelsea went on to win the Europa League. This season Willian was a favourite under Lampard as he made 47 appearances for the club scoring 11 goals and providing 9 assists. All I know is that as a fan I found Willian extremely frustrating, the potential was clearly there but it only came in flashes. The Brazilian was lauded for his work rate and his ability to track back and defend etc but then he was nothing more than a glorified Ramires. Whenever Willian had the ball you knew he was just going to feint and then run down the flank. In the end Willian leaves the club as a blue, part of the successes of the last decade although its debatable how much he contributed to those titles. Willian is odds on to join Chelsea’s retirement home in London Arsenal, and hopefully he can provide that same head scratching frustration to Arsenal fans while consistently playing at the Emirates.