October 23, 2021

Rudiger: Willian is like Hazard & I’ll be sad if he leaves Chelsea

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The Blues winger is set to depart in the summer having rejected a two-year contract offer from the club, with Arsenal having been strongly linked

Antonio Rudiger says Chelsea will miss Willian should he ultimately decide to leave the club on a free transfer and compared the Brazilian winger’s abilities to former Blues talisman Eden Hazard.

Chelsea next face Bayern Munich in the Champions League on August 8 but face an uphill task to reach the quarter-finals having lost 3-0 in the home leg back in February.

And the match at the Allianz Arena is likely to be Willian’s last for the Stamford Bridge club, with him having rejected a new contract offer and Arsenal having been heavily linked with signing him when his contract expires.

Having arrived in the Premier League in 2017, Rudiger was welcomed into the dressing room by the 31-year-old and he says he’ll miss the winger should he leave in the summer.

“Since day one of coming to Chelsea, he and David Luiz got me into the team and helped me out in the first couple of months because it was not that easy,” the Germany international told reporters.

“He is a great guy and a really, really good footballer. He is calm and humble and it will be sad if I don’t see him again as a team-mate. He is not the type of player who talks that much.

“He does his thing on the pitch, just like Eden Hazard. By playing, he shows what he is about. He is a guy who dictates the game and not many players in the world have this type of quality.

“He is always training [hard] and practicing free-kicks after. He is someone who always wants to improve.”

Willian helped Chelsea to a top-four finish in the Premier League in the 2019-20 season and Rudiger has praised the work done by Frank Lampard in what is his first season in charge of the west Londoners.

He added: “To be honest, he is not like [Antonio] Conte or someone who, when you lose games, will rant at you. Of course, the coach is a bit quieter in the way that he says things. But the most important thing is that he gets to the point, and he does.

“We are all grown men and everyone can hear what the coach has said. I think he dealt very well with that pressure and kept us alive. Even if it went good or bad, he always kept us alive.

“For me, it is about the human being I am talking too. It is not only because someone wins titles. Of course, it can help because he is an open-minded coach and you can ask him about the times when he was playing.

“He knows the pressure and what the people want to see at this club. He knows about those pressure games, finals and everything.”