Willian Reportedly Ready to Force Chelsea Exit Unless Antonio Conte Leaves

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistNovember 24, 2017

WEST BROMWICH, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 18:  Chelsea player Willian in action during the Premier League match between West Bromwich Albion and Chelsea at The Hawthorns on November 18, 2017 in West Bromwich, England.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/Getty Images

Willian is reportedly running out of patience with his increasingly limited role at Chelsea and is ready to force a move away from the club unless he is afforded more game time.

According to Brazilian outlet UOL (via Metro), the playmaker would also consider remaining at Stamford Bridge if manager Antonio Conte departed the club, but his frustration is growing.

Under Conte, Willian has become a peripheral figure at Chelsea. The Italian's predecessor, Jose Mourinho, brought the Brazil international to Stamford Bridge in August 2013 and played him regularly.

BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - NOVEMBER 22:  Antonio Conte, Manager of Chelsea reacts during the UEFA Champions League group C match between Qarabag FK and Chelsea FC at Baki Olimpiya Stadionu on November 22, 2017 in Baku, Azerbaijan.  (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Im
Francois Nel/Getty Images

He was crucial as the Blues won the Premier League title in 2014-15, and he then won the club's Player of the Year award in their disappointing 2015-16 campaign.

Since Conte has been in charge, though, Willian has more often than not found himself warming the bench.

In Chelsea's 2016-17 title-winning campaign, he made 34 league appearances, but 19 of them were as a substitute.

And in 2017-18, Willian has started just six of 12 matches in the English top flight.

As a result, the 29-year-old has been linked with a move away from west London, most recently to Manchester United to link up again with Mourinho, per Neil Fissler in the Sunday Express.

Willian gave an indication of his enduring excellence on Wednesday as he produced a man-of-the-match performance by netting twice in the UEFA Champions League against Qarabag, per Opta:

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

2 - Willian, who made his 200th appearance in all comps for Chelsea tonight, also scored twice in a Champions League game for the Blues for the first time. Celebration. https://t.co/VmzsqiLiWB

His impressive showing may convince Conte to start him in Saturday's crucial Premier League clash at Liverpool.

But if the Blues manager opts to bench Willian again even after such a good display, that is likely only to add to the former Shakhtar Donetsk man's frustrations and could push him closer to the exit door at Stamford Bridge.   


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