Brazil international Willian has officially announced that he will depart Chelsea following the expiration of his contract.
The winger penned an emotional message to the Blues fans, stating that it was time for him to move on.
The 32-year-old moved from Anzhi Makhachkala to Chelsea in the summer of 2013 and became a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge.
He described the last seven years as wonderful, having won two Premier League titles, the Europa League, League Cup and FA Cup.
Willian wrote: “They were seven wonderful years. In August 2013 when I received the offer from Chelsea, I was convinced that this was where I had to play.”
“Today I am certain that it was the best of decisions. There were so many happy times, some sad, there were trophies and it was always very intense.
“Yet, beyond the trophies, I learnt a lot about myself. I developed a great deal, becoming a better player and a better person. With each training session, with each game, with every minute spent in the dressing room, I was always learning.
“I am really grateful to the Chelsea fans for the affectionate way they welcomed me at Stamford Bridge and their support throughout my time at the club. There was also criticism, which is normal, what is important though is that both the affection and criticism drove me to always give my all in every training session, every game, to be constantly improving until my very last minute in a Chelsea shirt!”
Willian is all but set to join London rivals Arsenal when his Chelsea contract comes to an end in August.
He said he will miss his teammates, fans and staff who, he said, he holds in high esteem for treating him like a son.
“The time has now come to move on. I am certainly going to miss my team-mates. I will miss all the staff at the club who’ve always treated me like a son and I will miss the fans. I leave with my head held high, safe in the knowledge that I won things here and always did my best in a Chelsea shirt!
“My heartfelt thanks go out to all of you and God bless you!” the Brazilian added.