Arsenal have confirmed that Willian has joined the club on a free transfer with reports suggesting he’s penned a three-year deal worth £250,000 a week – although that includes his basic of £100,000, a large signing on fee paid across the duration of the deal, and bonuses.
The 32-year-old Brazil international moves across London from Chelsea after seven years at Stamford Bridge during which he won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa League. He also has a host of Ukrainian medals to his name after starting his career in Europe with Shakhtar Donetsk and Anzhi Makhachkala.
It’s believed the midfielder was keen on staying at Chelsea but when they only offered him a two-year contract his representative, Kia Joorabchian, started looking at other options.
Given the agent’s relationship with our Head of Football, Raul Sanllehi, and Technical Director, Edu, the rumours of a move to Arsenal were quick to surface and have been bubbling along for some months.
In the last 12 months both Cedric Soares and David Luiz have been placed at Arsenal by Joorabchian, who also had a role in Alex Iwobi’s move to Everton. Willian and Edu were also part of the same Brazil set-up that won the 2019 Copa America.
In making the switch from SW6 to N5, Willian joins a list that includes the aforementioned Luiz, Petr Cech, Yossi Benayoun, Lassana Diarra, William Gallas, Colin Pates, Stewart Houston and George Graham. He also becomes the third Brazilian in the first team squad.
Willian, who will wear the number 12 shirt, will join up with his new teammates in a couple of weeks as they start their preparations for the 2020/21 season.
We look forward to seeing what he brings to the squad.