The Brazilian winger is leaving Stamford Bridge after failing to agree a new contract with the club due to a disagreement over the length of the deal.
The 32-year-old is on the verge of a move across London after holding talks with Arsenal, and is set to become Mikel Arteta’s first signing of the summer transfer window.
The player himself confirmed his departure from Chelsea, sending a message to the club’s fans on Sunday.
“The time has now come to move on. I am certainly going to miss my teammates. I will miss all the staff at the club who’ve always treated me like a son and I will miss the fans. I leave with my head held high, safe in the knowledge that I won things here and always did my best in a Chelsea shirt!” He wrote.
Now, the club have responded in their own message to the player.
With Willian’s departure now confirmed, the official Chelsea website pays tribute to a class act on and off the pitch…,” the club wrote on their official website, in an article dedicated to the Brazilian.
“Willian leaves the Blues having helped us win five major honours during his time at the club, including the Premier League twice. He was named Chelsea Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year in 2016, and has also been a recipient of the Goal of the Season prize. So many of his 63 Chelsea strikes were of the spectacular variety.
“Willian’s choice of Stamford Bridge and not White Hart Lane as his preferred destination in late summer 2013 immediately earned him the status of fan’s favourite, and before long his decision to join Chelsea from Anzhi Makhachkala was immortalised in a chant that was sung loud and proud throughout his time in west London.”
Willian is set to continue his Premier League career at the Emirates Stadium, and the affection shown to the player from Chelsea will serve as a positive sign for Arsenal fans looking forward to seeing the winger pull on a Gunners’ shirt.