LONDON -- Willian revealed that Chelsea's players are telling Callum Hudson-Odoi "all the time" to stay at the club and reject interest from Bayern Munich as the January transfer deadline approaches.
Chelsea remain desperate to keep Hudson-Odoi, who submitted a formal transfer request on Saturday after making it clear that he has no intention of committing to a new long-term contract and sees his future at Bayern.
Maurizio Sarri nevertheless picked Hudson-Odoi to start against Sheffield Wednesday in the FA Cup fourth round less than 24 hours later, and the 18-year-old responded by scoring an impressive goal in a 3-0 victory at Stamford Bridge.
Hudson-Odoi refused to be drawn on his future in a post-match TV interview, but Willian insisted that all of the unsettled winger's teammates are making their feelings about his situation heard.
"We want him to stay," Willian said. "He's a great talent. A great player. We tell him all the time to stay here.
"We don't want him to leave. He can become one of the best players for Chelsea, one of the best players in the world, in the future. He has to stay.
"The quality he has, he has everything. He's fast. Of course, he can improve, he's only 18, but he can improve a lot to become one of the best players."
Bayern have submitted four bids for Hudson-Odoi in January -- the latest understood to be in the region of £35 million -- and have angered Chelsea with the public nature of their pursuit, but there were no signs of disillusionment or distraction in his performance on the pitch.
"He has to do this," Willian added. "He has to forget outside the pitch and when he goes inside he has to do his best performance and [this] was one of them.
"You can see from his goal he has quality. When you see players who score goals like this you have to say he has quality. We know how important he is for this club and for us and we just want him to stay."
Sunday's game was also notable for Gonzalo Higuain making his first Chelsea appearance since arriving on a lucrative loan deal from Juventus last week, paving the way for Alvaro Morata to leave Stamford Bridge and join Atletico Madrid on an 18-month loan deal.
Higuain could not find the net against Sheffield Wednesday and passed up the opportunity to take a penalty that Willian concerted to open the scoring.
"Maybe he wants to score a beautiful [first goal]," the Brazilian added with a smile. "But it was a good conversation.
"You can see he's a very good player, intelligent. [He can] do some movements. Come forward, too, go behind the defenders. I think he can, of course, improve a lot. This was just the first game. I think he will help us a lot this season."