Majority of EPL players uncomfortable about returning – Willian

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  • Post published:May 17, 2020

Chelsea attacker Willian believes the majority of Premier League player are ‘uncomfortable’ with the idea of the competition resuming in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Football in England was suspended in March with the top-flight currently targetting a return in mid-June.

The United Kingdom has been hit particularly hard by Covid-19 with 240,000 confirmed cases and over 34,000 deaths to date.

While the Bundesliga resumed behind closed doors this weekend, Willian has stressed player safety must come first when it comes to the Premier League possibly restarting.

‘Honestly, from what I can see, a lot of players – the majority, I’d say – are uncomfortable with the idea of returning right now,’ Willian was quoted by the Evening Standard.

‘We’re really keen to return, we really miss playing and doing what we love. But it needs to be safe for us to do so. That’s how we’re looking at it. Our health has to come first.

‘So right now, players don’t feel comfortable with the idea of returning until it’s totally safe to do so.

‘Our squad has spoken a lot over the internet, via different apps, and we’ve had some meetings too. Lampard has sent us information about what the Premier League wants to do.

‘We still don’t know how things are going to play out, moving forward. Hopefully, we’ll know in the next few days. The Premier League is going to have a meeting and then they’ll inform us about the next steps.’

The likes of Sergio Aguero, Troy Deeney and Danny Rose have all questioned the Premier League’s plan to return on June 12 with Rose particularly critical.

Watford manager Nigel Pearson has also voiced his concerns about a possible restart, claiming the competition could be underestimating the virus.

‘God forbid we have a fatality,’ Pearson told the Times newspaper on Saturday. ‘People are closing their eyes to the threat.

‘Yes, we would like to restart it but it’s got to be safe. We should be cautious. To ignore possibilities is foolhardy. It’s about safeguarding people’s health.’

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has previously stressed the Premier League will only resume if it’s deemed safe to do so, with player wellbeing a key consideration.