Willian At 35: The Brazilian Is Still Showing He Can Thrive In The Premier League

The 35-year-old is gearing up for another season in the Premier League
14:11, 09 Aug 2023

It is almost 10 years since, on August 25, 2013, Willian first joined the Premier League when he signed for Chelsea. But for a year in between times with Corinthians, the Brazilian has spent all of the past decade in London with the Blues, Arsenal and now Fulham.

The Brazilian turns 35 on Wednesday and he remains a high-performing talent in the top flight. When it was revealed a year ago that Fulham and Marco Silva had convinced the ageing star to join the Premier League new boys it was a signing met with mixed reviews from outsiders. 

People questioned the pedigree of the signing considering Willian was now in his mid-30s. The fact that his stint with Arsenal was largely a catastrophe, and more importantly that he wasn’t the profile of player a club expected to be battling for survival would need.


His 337 appearances in English football by that point begged to differ. Despite being considered a veteran and not having the heightened abilities he could boast during his early years at Chelsea, Willian showed last term that he is still a valuable player to have in this division. As Fulham defied the odds to finish 10th, and at one stage looked to be in the running for the European places, Willian was a key figure in Silva’s side and his contributions and experience have been invaluable at Craven Cottage.

That CV includes two Premier League title wins, an FA Cup, a League Cup and a Europa League title. For the years of service he gave to Chelsea he earned the love and affection of the supporters. He was their Player of the Season in 2016 and also received the Players’ Player of the Season accolade in the same year, picking it up again in 2017-18


The winger added a further 30 appearances in England with Fulham last term, 27 of them coming in the league. He stole the show at Craven Cottage in January as he haunted his former side Chelsea by opening up the scoring in a 2-1 victory. Willian finished the campaign with five goals and six assists and certainly silenced his critics in north London.

For whatever reason, things didn’t work out at Arsenal, but he has found himself another home in west London and that has helped him to roll back the years with some of the outstanding performances we saw from him in SW6. The crowd will be hungry for much more of that this year, as will his manager.

He demonstrated that he still has what it takes to take defenders on and give them a headache, and his impact for the Cottagers cannot be overstated. That is why there was such a huge sigh of relief when he agreed to a new deal with the club after it looked like he could have been joining Nottingham Forest. 

And then again when about a week later it was reported that he was ready to quit the club to go to the Saudi Pro League. When it was confirmed earlier this week that Willian had reaffirmed his commitment to Fulham, the fans were delighted - and rightly so.

Willian plays an integral role in what Fulham are trying to achieve under Silva and we can expect to see him have another impressive year in the Premier League. He showed last year that age is just a number. Don’t be fooled, he is still one of the best wingers in the English game. Will the birthday boy get a late present and help his side get off to a flying start at Everton on Saturday? Don’t bet against it.

Fulham are 9/4 to beat Everton with Betfred*

18+ | BeGambleAware

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