Belfast Telegraph

Frank Lampard lauds ‘low-maintenance’ Chelsea star Willian

The Brazil winger scored twice in Sunday’s 2-0 Premier League derby win at Tottenham.

Frank Lampard, right, has been impressed with Willian since taking over as Chelsea manager (Steven Paston/PA)
Frank Lampard, right, has been impressed with Willian since taking over as Chelsea manager (Steven Paston/PA)

By Nick Purewal, PA

Frank Lampard has hailed “low-maintenance” Chelsea forward Willian as a well-loved Stamford Bridge star.

Brazil winger Willian bagged a stunning double in Sunday’s 2-0 Premier League derby win at Tottenham, to manager Lampard’s delight.

The 31-year-old is out of contract in the summer and has been clear for some time in his desire to stay in west London beyond the end of the campaign.

Lampard insists Chelsea’s board will handle the contract negotiations, but reiterated how impressed he has been with Willian’s role this term.

All his team-mates love him, he's a low-maintenance player to have in the squad. Frank Lampard on Willian

“He’s in talks with the club, he speaks with the club on the money side of it,” said Lampard.

“If there was one thing I wanted from him at the start of the season it was a question of: ‘Can you score more goals because your talent says that you should do’.

“That means sometimes running into space behind defenders, and getting the other side, and he is doing all those things.

“And the experience helps when you have got a young team, when the other options are younger, experience certainly helps.

“All his team-mates love him, he’s a low-maintenance player to have in the squad; so yes I am really happy with him.

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Frank Lampard celebrates the victory over Spurs with Willian (Nick Potts/PA)

“He’s great for me, especially when he plays like he did the other day; it was an incredible performance.”

Chelsea host Southampton on Boxing Day intent on hitting back to form on home soil, following their surprise 1-0 loss to Bournemouth that preceded the hugely-impressive win over Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham.

Lampard arrived at Chelsea from Derby in the summer keen to work so closely with the talented wide man Willian.

Now he has bedded into his role as Stamford Bridge chief, Lampard believes the Brazilian can continue to push on to even greater heights.

“He has that talent; I knew he had that talent before I got the job,” said Lampard.

“I think I have said this before, but the last year or two I have looked at him from afar and wasn’t sure how much he was enjoying it, whether he felt happy in games. A bit of body language, in and out sometimes.

“My feeling at the start of the season was to tell him how much I feel about him and how I see him; get him fit, get him working off the ball because I know he can.

“And the rest in terms of what he does on the ball I can kind of let him do that, because he has this incredible ability to burst away from people.”

PA

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