Arsenal News: Why Mikel Arteta pushed Gunners bosses to sign Willian


The Gunners’ run for free agent Willian is led by Arteta (Photo: Getty Images)

Arsenal’s decision to take Willian on a free transfer is being driven by Mikel Arteta with the head coach keen to add the Chelsea winger’s experience to his young squad, according to reports.

The 31-year-old is out of contract with the Blues this summer and has reportedly chosen to join the Gunners after they offered him a three-year contract, with the move to be announced in the coming days.

While there have been reviews of the deal suggesting it was pushed by the increasingly influential Kia Joorabchian, AthleticDavid Ornstein reports that Arteta is, in fact, the main driving force.

Arteta is drawn to Willian’s experience and winning mentality (Photo: Getty)

Arsenal have followed Willian before, but the deal is now led by Arteta, who believes this is an ‘ideal’ signing for the squad.

The Brazilian ticks a number of boxes, including that he would be an experienced leader in an otherwise young – and, at times this season, naïve – team and that he can help these young players develop and realize their potential.

The second big reason is that Arteta believes Willian can add a winning mentality and culture to the team.

Although he looked sideways at Arsenal beat Chelsea in the FA Cup last weekend, he has won the Premier League as well as the Europa League twice – finishing as the main assistant this season.

Despite speculation surrounding his future, Willian continued to train as hard and diligently as ever and Chelsea boss Frank Lampard would have liked to keep him.

But the former Shakhtar and Anzhi winger has now ruled out staying on Stamford Bridge and Arsenal’s offer – and the role Arteta described to him – is now the one he prefers.

Willian Chelsea FC v Manchester City - Premier League

Willian has beaten all but two Arsenal players this season, Aubameyang and Lacazette (Getty)

Moreover, the salary offered by Arsenal is not the most lucrative one offered to Willian – with Inter Miami and another anonymous club offering more – but he wants to work with Arteta and stay in London.

The connection with Arsenal’s technical director and compatriot Edu is also believed to have played a role in Willian’s decision to choose Arsenal.

Willian has enjoyed fine form after the resumption of the season, scoring five times and having three assists in his first six Premier League games, ending the season with the most prolific campaign of his career.

MORE: Willian to join Arsenal after rejecting late offers from Chelsea and Manchester United

MORE: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta puts nine players on sale, including Hector Bellerin

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