Things can move very quickly in football, and Willian is the perfect example of how rapidly attitudes can change.
If we go back a few months he looked like a driving force in the Chelsea midfield so plenty of their fans were hoping he would stay, while Arsenal were widely praised for bringing him in after a bright start.
His form has absolutely deserted him in recent months to the point that he’s turning into a scapegoat, so you would be forgiven for thinking that Arsenal would be stuck with their big mistake.
ESPN have reported today that Real Betis are showing an interest in him as they look to find a replacement for the legendary Joaquin, so this could give Arsenal a chance to move him on already.
The big problem here is that the report confirms Arsenal gave him a three-year deal and you have to think he’ll be on a hefty wage (as high as £220,00 a week, according to the Daily Mail), so Arsenal will probably have to keep paying some of that if he does move on.
Betis are a good team but they’re not particularly wealthy, so it’s impossible to see them coming in and taking on a top-tier Premier League wage for a player who is out of form.
The most likely escape route just now would be a loan move where they pay something towards his salary, so it could be a big choice for the club to make.
Mikel Arteta will be criticised if he decides to let him go already, but you could also argue that a decisive manager will quickly move on from their mistakes instead of giving them multiple chances in the hope that they are eventually proven to be right.
Even for a free transfer, Willian’s hefty wages just don’t look worth it considering the minimal impact he’s had at the Emirates Stadium.