New Arsenal signing Willian has told the club’s official website of the role that boss Mikel Arteta played in the Brazilian deciding to join the Gunners on a free transfer.
Willian has joined the north London outfit after seven years with rivals Chelsea, the 32-year-old joins on a three-year deal and will sport the No.12 for the Gunners.
The Brazil international is Arsenal’s first signing of the summer, Willian resembles the kind of experienced star that will be needed for the Gunners to force themselves back into the top four soon.
According to ESPN, the winger will earn £100,000-a-week with the Gunners. Willian was superb under the tutelage of former teammate Frank Lampard this season, scoring 11 goals and adding nine assists.
Willian was particularly impressive after English football restarted in June, with five goals and four assists coming over this period.
Here’s what Willian had to say on Arteta’s influence:
“[I like] the way they play, everything is amazing – the stadium, and I think that with Arteta, Arsenal have a great opportunity to fight again for titles in the Premier League and in Europe so I’m very happy because of that,”
“I’m excited to start. I can’t wait to go on the pitch and do my thing to help my team-mates and to help this club to shine again. That’s what I want.”
“When I talked to [Mikel], the conversation was good, he gave me confidence to come to Arsenal. He said a lot of good things to me and that’s why I have come to Arsenal.”
Willian won five major honours with the Blues over his 7-year spell, the Brazilian registered 63 goals and 62 assists in 339 appearances across all competitions over this time.
It’s been teased that Willian may actually be fielded in a different role than usual for the Emirates outfit, it will be interesting to see how the skilful attacker fares if he’s used in a No.10 role.
Willian is the ideal character to push club-record signing Nicolas Pepe, he’s also better suited to deal with the pressures the side are facing than some of the club’s promising attacking talents would be.