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Willian on 'best decision' to reject Spurs for Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel sacking and celebrating against Blues for Fulham

Nick Emms

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Willian on 'best decision' to reject Spurs for Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel sacking and celebrating against Blues for Fulham

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Former Chelsea winger Willian has opened up on his decision to reject Tottenham Hotspur to join the Blues, Thomas Tuchel's recent dismissal and the new ownership at Stamford Bridge.

The winger departed Chelsea to join Arsenal back in 2020, but after a single season in north London, the Brazilian returned to his home country.

Earlier this season, Willian returned to London as he joined Chelsea's west London rivals Fulham on a free transfer.

Registering an assist on his debut, Willian looked his old self upon his Premier League return and is in line to face his former club Chelsea this season.

Willian rejected a move to Tottenham to join Chelsea in 2013. (Alamy)
Willian rejected a move to Tottenham to join Chelsea in 2013. (Alamy)

Despite a short spell at Arsenal, Willian will no doubt be welcomed back to Stamford Bridge with open arms and a good reception from the Blues' fans.

He became a fan favourite at Chelsea after rejecting a move to Spurs in order to join Jose Mourinho's side at the time.

Speaking to The Athletic, Willian opened up on his choice to join Chelsea as well as discussing the recent dismissal of Tuchel among other subjects.

When asked about his move to Chelsea back in 2013, Willian revealed: “I was in London for two weeks, waiting, waiting for Tottenham to decide because they were in a situation where Gareth Bale was in the process of leaving them to join Real Madrid, Liverpool were also interested.

Willian currently plays for Fulham. (Alamy)
Willian currently plays for Fulham. (Alamy)

"I wasn’t sure about Chelsea. They’d shown interest but it wasn’t so firm at first."

Chelsea did make a move for Willian late on, with the winger continuing to reveal that why he decided to reject Tottenham to move to Stamford Bridge.

“Chelsea came on the day I was going to sign the contract with Spurs," he continued. "I was at Tottenham’s training ground to finalise the deal when the call came.

"My agent said to me, ‘Chelsea just called me and they want you’. I said, ‘OK, I want to go there!’. Then I left the training ground and went back to the hotel.

"It was a difficult situation because I’d agreed more or less to join Spurs. But in my mind was only Chelsea. Once the deal between Anzhi and Chelsea was agreed, I only wanted to go there. It was the best decision of my career.”


The Brazilian was brought to the club under the old ownership and Roman Abramovich's stewardship, with Marina Granovskaia also playing a key role.

After Abramovich sold the club to the Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital consortium, Granovskaia also departed.

Willian continued to admit that it feels strange for him to see the club without the pair at the helm.

He said: “I couldn’t believe it when this situation happened.

Willian celebrating for Chelsea. (Alamy)
Willian celebrating for Chelsea. (Alamy)

"For me, when you talk about Chelsea, you just see Roman and Marina. It’s been difficult for everyone inside the club.

"But this is where Cesar Azpilicueta will help. He is a very good player, an important one for the club. He’s been there for 10 years. With his experience, he can help the young players that play there at the moment.”

The former Blue finalised by discussing the dismissal of former head coach Tuchel.

Willian and Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta. (Alamy)
Willian and Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta. (Alamy)

Despite never working with the German, Willian worked with his fair share of managers during his time at the club and admitted that no matter who was in charge, Chelsea kept on winning.

“Chelsea is a big club, one of the best in the world. Every year, Chelsea are fighting for something, even if they change a manager," he said.

"They are always there. In the seven years I was there, I had Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink, Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri and Frank Lampard.

"It almost become normal. But it didn’t stop us, we always fought for something."

Topics: Chelsea, Willian, Football, Premier League, Thomas Tuchel, Fulham, Arsenal

Nick Emms
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