Pedro, Giroud and Willian have kickstarted Chelsea's season but all three could leave this summer

The Blues senior attacking stars have stepped up to the plate in recent weeks but they will all be out of contract at the end of the 2019-20 campaign


Posted Saturday, March 14, 2020 by Goal.com

Pedro, Giroud and Willian have kickstarted Chelsea's season but all three could leave this summer

Much has been made of the impact of young players at Stamford Bridge this season but the old guard have been just as important to Chelsea's recent resurgence.

Thirty-somethings Pedro, Olivier Giroud and Willian all played a pivotal part in last week's wins over Liverpool and Everton, in the FA Cup and Premier League, respectively.

However, there is no guarantee that any of the forwards will still be at Chelsea next season, given their contracts are all set to expire this summer.

Certainly, there can be little doubt over their continued commitment to the cause, as their recent performances have underlined, with Willian netting in both the 2-0 win over Liverpool and the 4-0 rout of Everton, and Pedro and Giroud on target in the latter outing.

Still, the senior trio's representatives are all working away in the background, speaking with not only Chelsea but also other parties interested in signing their clients on a free transfer.

It has created a slightly strange scenario in which Frank Lampard is relying on players that could soon be gone, or that he would have gladly offloaded in January.

Of course, it's not as if he had any other choice. Lampard had to turn to Giroud & Co. after injuries to his budding attacking stars Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

The question now is what happens next.

Willian has been very open about his situation. He is settled at Chelsea and wants to stay. But on his terms.

"We really like London, I have said it many times," Willian told ESPN Brasil. “It is a city where my family and I love to live... but the contract situation really isn't easy.

“Chelsea offered me two years, I asked for three years and everything stopped there.”

Chelsea are steadfastly refusing to give such a long-term deal to a 31-year-old and Lampard will certainly be familiar with such a stance.

He had a similar issue with the club towards the end of his playing days at Stamford Bridge and eventually ended up departing for New York City FC, via a loan spell at Manchester City.

The impasse with Willian is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon but, according to sources close to the player, the Brazilian has yet to sign a pre-contract agreement with any other club, so he could ended up staying put.

However, that doesn't mean he will necessarily stay at Chelsea. Given the Willian family's love of London, there is obviously a risk of the Blues losing him to one of their city rivals, such as Arsenal or Tottenham.

After all, the Gunners signed one of Willian's best friends, David Luiz, from Chelsea last summer thanks to the good work of technical director Edu Gaspar and Head of Football Raul Sanllehi.

Tottenham is also a possible destination for Olivier Giroud and, in truth, it's a surprise that the Frenchman is still at the club given his lack of game time during the first half of the season.

"Even I saw myself elsewhere, to be honest. I went through six complicated months,” Giroud told Telefoot ahead of the win over Everton.

“That's why I tried to leave in January. I did everything [to leave]. In the end, with the circumstances, Chelsea did not want to let me go. The crucial condition for my departure was to have a replacement.

“The most interesting club for me was Inter. The problem is that it dragged on. In the end, and even if Lazio were there towards the end and Tottenham too, it was no longer a question of where I was going to leave but could I leave. There was nothing to do. I was stuck.

“I knew that anyway I shouldn't start going on strike or wreak havoc in the locker room. First of all, because it is not me and also because I knew there was a good chance that I would stay at Chelsea. That’s why I stayed flawless and professional until the end.

“There were two reactions: either I mope around or I fight for my place. That's what I did. And the coach who promised me more opportunities to play kept his word and I took my chance.”

He's certainly done that, bringing a much-needed focal point to the attack in Abraham's absence. However, Giroud would undoubtedly be happy if Inter come back in for him at the end of the season, given he had already agreed a contract with the Serie A side in January.

The coronavirus outbreak has obviously thrown the entire game into disarray and Hudson-Odoi is presently recovering from its effects, with the rest of the squad now self-isolating.

When the England winger will be cleared to return to action is not yet known but, obviously, it's even unclear when the English game will resume.

However, irrespective of what's going on all over the world, Chelsea certainly won't be letting Pedro go anywhere right now. Even before the Hudson-Odoi news, the Spaniard had become indispensable to Chelsea.

There was interest in his services from MLS clubs New York City FC and Inter Miami, which is fronted by David Beckham, and there was talk of a move to the United States while the American transfer window was still open.

The market is also open for another two-and-a-half weeks in Japan and Vissel Kobe were also tracking Pedro.

However, Chelsea would reject any offer for the former Barcelona forward, who had Lampard signing his praises after the win over Liverpool.

"He was outstanding in terms of his work ethic and the other players look up to him for what he has done," the Blues boss enthused. "Always a goal threat. Parts of the season have been difficult for him. He was in the team at the start, got injured and was then out of the team.

"But what he has shown, particularly in recent weeks, is a real desire in training to look sharp, to be giving advice and giving the place a lift with his body language. He can be one of our most important players until the end of the season."

Just like Giroud and Willian, Pedro is considered a classy professional. They could all be replaced with younger models come the summer transfer window, with Timo Werner and Jadon Sancho on Chelsea's wishlist, but even if they do depart, the old guard will be thanked by everyone connected with the club for stepping up to the plate when they were needed the most.



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