Willian ends Arsenal transfer on three-year contract after Chelsea exit | Football News


Willian joined Arsenal on a three-year contract

Arsenal have stepped up their attacking options for next season by signing Brazil international Willian on a three-year contract after leaving Chelsea.

Willian’s contract with Chelsea expired after their Champions League fixture with Bayern Munich and Arsenal beat competition from Barcelona and Inter Miami to sign the 32-year-old.

Willian made 47 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions last season and finished in good form, scoring four Premier League goals after the resumption, bringing his season tally to nine.

“I think he’s a player who can really make a difference for us,” Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta said.

Willian, who will wear No.12 at Arsenal, has won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the Europa League during his seven years at Chelsea.

I think he’s a player who can really make a difference for us.

Mikel Arteta sur Willian

Arteta added: “We have been watching him for a few months, we had a clear intention to strengthen the attacking midfield and winger positions. [and] he is a player who gives us a lot of versatility, he can play in three or four different positions.

“He has experience in everything in the world of football, but he still has the ambition to come here and help bring the club where it belongs. I was really impressed with all the discussions I had with him and how much he wanted to come. ”

Willian remains a key component of the Brazilian national team, having made 70 appearances since his debut in 2011.

Arsenal technical director Edu, who also represented Brazil, said he knew Willian “very well”.

“He has a lot of fantastic attributes as a person, as a football player of course, his character,” Edu said.

“I’m 100% sure everyone in the locker room, the fans, me and Mikel will enjoy having Willian by our side. ”

Analysis: Willian’s arrival asks Pepe questions

Alan Smith de Sky Sports:

It’s time to move the project forward by adding quality to some posts, which is not at all easy when money is tight. Willian’s free transfer from Chelsea feels like the first step, which surprised me at first given the Brazilian’s age. Just turning 32 with plenty of miles on the clock, Stamford Bridge has surely had its best days.

So was it just a practical decision because he has the right agent? Something forced on Arteta by Raul Sanllehi, the head of football? Or does Arteta see something in Willian that can improve the team immediately?

One thing is certain, as a right-handed striker, his arrival poses immediate questions to Nicolas Pepe, signed at an exorbitant cost this time last year. The Ivorian winger has blown hot and cold so far, which isn’t a great quality in Arteta’s book. Undoubtedly talented, Pepe has to go for it if he is to survive because, in the short term at least, Willian can provide great craftsmanship and quality to this right side.

Take a look at Willian’s stats for his 19/20 season with Chelsea

Take a look at Willian’s stats for his 19/20 season with Chelsea

Full column: “Smart transfers can boost Arteta’s project”

Analysis: What is Arsenal’s attack plan with Willian?

Pete Gill de Sky Sports:

Discussing Willian’s imminent arrival, a recent edition of the Transfer Talk podcast posed Arsenal’s question: is this method or madness?

At first glance, signing Willian is certainly a little unusual. Are Arsenal really considering another short-term solution? Are they really planning the new season with a forward three from Aubameyang, Lacazette and Willian with Pepe and Bukayo Saka in reserve? Or, as some reports suggest, could the plan be for Willian to take on a central playmaker role while Mesut Ozil remains frozen?

Trying to understand Arsenal’s intentions around the deal is as intriguing as their willingness to offer Willian a three-year contract when Chelsea reportedly drew the line two.

With Aubameyang set to sign a new deal, Willian’s arrival must reinforce the possibility of Lacazette leaving. Despite starting the FA Cup final, Lacazette was regularly overlooked in favor of Eddie Nketiah in the second half of the season and had, by his standards, a modest campaign. His departure would not only raise funds, but would surely pave the way for Aubameyang, the league’s most clinical finisher, to return to center from the left-wing position he held for much of 2019/20. If, in turn, Lacazette funds were used to land Thomas Partey and a defender or two, there really could be a method behind Arsenal’s current maneuvers.

In the meantime, the guessing game can continue on which Arsenal striker his arrival will have the most impact: Aubameyang, Lacazette, Ozil or Pepe?

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