As Arsenal move closer to signing Willian from Chelsea, one esteemed football pundit has actually questioned the reasons behind the deal.
ESPN’s Gab Marcotti, speaking on ESPNFC and cited by the Daily Express has gone as far as to suggest that Willian’s hire may only be as a result of the Gunners potentially losing their FA Cup winning captain, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
“To me this suggests something else is going on at Arsenal,” he said. “I wonder if this is some sort of Aubameyang insurance.
“You don’t want to be in a situation where you have Aubameyang tied down to a long-term contract, Lacazette – whose contract expires in 2022 – tied down to a long-term contract, and Willian too.
“Not when you’ve got Martinelli and Saka and Pepe and all these guys you’re trying to push. It’s not a good situation to be in.
“So, I wonder if Arsenal are trying to push this along almost as a plan B alternative if they don’t reach a deal with Aubameyang.
“Otherwise, adding a guy like Willian, with his age on a three-year-deal, makes almost zero sense.”
It’s an interesting take on the transfer merry-go-round that appears to be turning at the Emirates Stadium, but even if there were a grain of truth in the rumour, Arsenal supporters, though excited to see Willian arrive, would surely not be happy if their talisman were to depart.
As of this moment, the Gabonese has still unequivocally refused to come out to confirm or deny anything related to his future, which can only add further fuel to the fire.
Mikel Arteta clearly has a big rebuilding job on his hands at Arsenal in any event, and that won’t be helped if Aubameyang jumps ship at the earliest opportunity.