Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard admits Willian's potential departure to Arsenal would leave a hole in his squad.
Willian looks set to leave Chelsea this summer, ending his seven-year stay at the Bridge with his current deal set to expire after Blues' Champions League campaign. Lampard says it will be a big loss for the Blues but it is nothing they have dealt with such before.
"When a player's out of the contract they have the freedom and the right to go and play wherever they want, so we have to understand that," said Lampard.
"If they stay in the league and it's a player of Willian's quality for instance, then they will go and contribute to that team. I think we have to accept that and move on, I've got no problems with that. That's his right. I think he leaves a hole as a player that's been here for seven seasons and performed as part of some very successful teams.
"When I came in for this year and we had a very young group and young talents coming back after loans, we had some transitional elements to the whole group. And Willian was one you looked at and relied upon in terms of experience and quality, and he's shown me that all year.
"But he has his own decisions to make. And we as a club will always want to move forward, no matter what.
"Eden Hazard left last year, but the club continues. You try and work in a forward direction, which I think we have in many ways. And that remains the same whatever player will leave the club."