Thiago Silva, the Chelsea defender, has revealed that he attempted to entice a’special’ former Blues star back to Stamford Bridge ahead of a Friday night clash with his fellow countryman.
Thiago Silva: Willian spent seven seasons at Stamford Bridge and was a huge fan favorite, making over 300 appearances for Chelsea before joining rivals Arsenal in a surprise move across London in 2020.
During his time in west London, the Brazilian winger won two Premier League titles, as well as the Europa League, FA Cup, and League Cup. However, he struggled to replicate his form at Arsenal and was eventually released just a year later.
After returning to his boyhood club Corinthians, the 34-year-old was signed by Fulham. And Willian made his former club pay by scoring in a 2-0 win over Chelsea in January.
Thiago was full of praise for the forward ahead of the rematch on Friday evening. He also revealed that he attempted to persuade Willian to return to Stamford Bridge near the end of his time at The Emirates.
“Willian is something special,” Silva said to ESPN Brazil. “I have a soft spot in my heart for this kid, both as a player and as a person off the field.
“Before he left for Corinthians, I tried to bring him back, but unfortunately things didn’t advance, they didn’t work.
Thiago is hoping that lightning doesn’t strike twice.
“I knew he was a crucial player. He scored against us in our first game [against Fulham], and he’s been having a good season with Fulham.
“Hopefully he’ll be calmer by Friday.”
Willian has scored twice and provided two assists in 14 Premier League appearances for Fulham, who are currently seventh in the table under Marco Silva.
Chelsea will leapfrog their London rivals into sixth place if they defeat the Cottagers on Friday night. As a result, if Fulham win, they will be five points ahead of the Blues.