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.

Willian has confirmed his departure from Chelsea in an open letter to the club’s fans.

The Brazilian winger’s contract with the London side expires at the end of August, though the club offered him an extension and he has also been linked with a move to city rivals Arsenal.

The 32-year-old has confirmed he will not stay on at Stamford Bridge and thanked the Blues supporters for their affection during his time there.

“They were seven wonderful years. In August 2013 when I received the offer from Chelsea, I was convinced that this was where I had to play,” Willian wrote.

“Today I am certain that it was the best of decisions. There were so many happy times, some sad, there were trophies and it was always very intense.

“Yet, beyond the trophies, I learnt a lot about myself. I developed a great deal, becoming a better player and a better person. With each training session, with each game, with every minute spent in the dressing room, I was always learning.


“I am really grateful to the Chelsea fans for the affectionate way they welcomed me at Stamford Bridge and their support throughout my time at the club. There was also criticism, which is normal, what is important though is that both the affection and criticism drove me to always give my all in every training session, every game, to be constantly improving until my very last minute in a Chelsea shirt!

“The time has now come to move on. I am certainly going to miss my team-mates. 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!

“My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you and God bless you!”

Willian joined Chelsea from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013 and went on to make 339 appearances for the Premier League side.

He lifted two Premier League titles and won the Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup.

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