Antonio Conte has nothing against Chelsea star, insists Pat Nevin
The Chelsea legend opens up about Willian's prospects under manager Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte has nothing against Willian despite the Chelsea star’s lack of first-team football, Pat Nevin has claimed.
The Brazilian midfielder was a key member of the Chelsea team that won the Premier League title under Jose Mourinho in the 2014-15 season before he was named the club’s player of the year despite a difficult campaign for the west London outfit in 2015-16.
However, Antonio Conte’s appointment as Mourinho’s permanent successor has seen Willian fall out of favour at Stamford Bridge behind Pedro Rodriguez and Cesc Fabregas.
Indeed, Willian scored eight goals and made two assists in 15 starts and 19 substitute appearances as Chelsea won the Premier League title in their first season under Conte.
The 29-year-old’s fortunes haven’t improved this season with Willian being limited to seven starts and seven appearances from the bench.
However, former Chelsea winger Nevin believes the South American playmaker still has an important role to play at Stamford Bridge despite a tough spell in his Blues career.
“I don’t think he has anything against Willain,” Nevin told Irish radio station Newstalk.
“When he plays a different system, he will play Willain some of the time. He looked a little bit disinterested at the start of the season but he is flying now.”
Chelsea won the Premier League title with two games to spare last season after finishing seven points clear of their closest challengers Tottenham, Hotspur.
The Blues signed six players in the summer transfer window ahead of their return to the Champions League.