Premier League • England

Thiago Silva reveals he tried to lure former Chelsea star back to Bridge ahead of Friday night showdown

Thiago Silva of Chelsea

Chelsea centre-back Thiago Silva has revealed he tried to lure a ‘special’ former Blues star back to Stamford Bridge ahead of a Friday night showdown with his fellow counrtyman.

Willian spent seven seasons at Stamford Bridge and was a huge fan favourite as he made more than 300 appearances for Chelsea before making a surprise move across London to rivals Arsenal back in 2020.

The Brazilian winger won two Premier League titles, the Europa League, the FA Cup and League Cup during his time in west London. However, he struggled to replicate his form at the Gunners and was eventually moved on just 12 months later.

A return to boyhood club Corinthians followed before Fulham then snapped up the 34-year-old. And Willian made his old club pay as he scored in a Cottagers win over Chelsea back in January.

But ahead of the return fixture on Friday evening, Thiago was full of praise for the forward. And he revealed that he tried to convince Willian to come back to Stamford Bridge towards the end of his stint at The Emirates.

“‘Willian is special,” Silva told ESPN Brazil. “I have a special affection for this kid, as a player and off the pitch as a person.

“Before he left for Corinthians, I tried to bring him back [to Chelsea], but unfortunately things didn’t advance, they didn’t work.

Thiago hoping lightning does not strike twice

“I knew he was a very important player. In our first game [against Fulham], he scored a goal against us, he’s having important performances with Fulham.

“Hopefully on Friday he will be calmer.”

Willian has so far scored twice and added two assists in 14 Premier League outings for Fulham, with Marco Silva’s men currently sitting an impressive seventh place in the table.

Victory over the Cottagers on Friday night will see Chelsea leapfrog their London rivals into sixth in the table. Subsequently, Fulham can go five points clear of the Blues if they get the three points.

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