Technical Director Edu says the recruitment of Willian is part of a process to rebalance Arsenal’s squad and insists his Brazilian compatriot will make an instant impact.
The Gunners confirmed the recruitment of the 32-year-old free agent this morning with reports suggesting he’s signed a three-year deal.
The midfielder is expected to compete for a regular starting berth but it’s also hoped his experience will aid the development of the youngsters coming through the ranks.
“He has a lot of fantastic attributes as a person, as a football player of course, his character,” Edu told Arsenal Digital.
“I’m 100 per cent sure that everybody in the dressing room, the fans, myself and Mikel will enjoy having Willian in our side.
“We tried to create a better balance in the squad but we know that takes time to balance the squad the way me and Mikel [Arteta] want to. To balance properly, we need to sell players, to buy players and that takes time, not just day and night.
“It will take time but with Willian, we’ve started a big process. We’ve identified the needs in the squad and he’s the one to start to rebalance the squad as we want to.
“I am really excited and really happy to have a player like Willian because I’m convinced he’ll be the one to impact the team straight away. That, for me, is the most important one because I think the squad needed a player like Willian to help them, to be with the guys, helping in all senses. That’s why I’m so excited.”
In addition to Willian, Arsenal will also be able to call upon the services of centre-back William Saliba when the season gets going again in the coming weeks. It sounds as though we’re also in the market for another defender -possibly Lille’s Gabriel Magalhães – and at least one midfielder.
Much will depend on whether the club can move on current squad members. Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Alex Lacazette have all been tipped for moves and the days could be numbered for the likes of Sokratis and Calum Chambers. Mesut Ozil insisted yesterday that he will not be leaving for another year.