Willian: I’ve come to help

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Willian says he was persuaded to join Arsenal by the Mikel Arteta project and is eager to help the club get back to challenging for the Premier League and in Europe.

The Brazil international, 32, has signed as a free agent on a three-year contract at the Emirates after calling time on seven years at Chelsea where he won five major honours.

Asked why he decided to move across London, Willian told Arsenal Digital: “Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world and because of the new project with Arteta.

“I think this club deserves to shine again. I want to be a part of this project, to be part of the Arsenal family, it’s amazing, I’m very happy to do that.

On what he likes about the club, he added: “[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.”

There’s been speculation that Willian could challenge for a role in the centre of midfield having made his name as a wide player. On where he’ll fit in, he joked: “Haha, that’s a difficult question – I don’t know! I leave that to Arteta,” he said. “I come to help in every position.

“I can play on the right, I can play in the middle, I can play on the left side as well. So I want to help – in any position where they put me to play, I will try to do my best.

“This club deserves to win again. We have to do our best to win every game, I’ll always train hard and go on the pitch 100 % to help this club win games and titles.”

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Anonymarse

Are we going to get him playing in the hole then

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

He’ll definitely be making frequent bursts through the middle.

Reality check

He has a very good defensive work rate. I think with him in the hole, Arteta can start playing four at the back again.

Dmitri

Do you mean he likes “cummin in from behind”???

Mentalista

He’s got really dangerous cross-cum-shot and this is not even a pun!

Anonymarse

Give us a bit more penetration in the box when he comes inside etc etc fnarr fnarr

Bacon sandwich

Hard Willi to add penetration from any position? Fuck yeah!

OnlyBeingHonest

Buy him a drink first and see where it goes ?

DaDude

We need to get Deeney now. With such cohones, we’d have the complete package.

ArtetaaaHhhh

He looks 18 that all that matter! A reconversion in the middle of the pitch a la Santo Cazorla. This player is discreet and hard working, Chelsea was never a place for him. Welcome home willy !!

lessthanthesumoftheirparts

Once you get an expensive young willy you don’t go back

Dr Zebra

Plus in sitting out of the FA Cup final, he’s already helped us to more silverware!

Con

If the intention is to play him as a ball-carrying attacking #8 it will make a bit more sense.

OsloGooner

I’m thinking that aswell, we have so many good young wingers in our team. So hopefully Arteta will find a way to rotate everyone in their position.

Charles MMM

I think the idea from Arteta might be to have a squad that is flexible enough to switch formation in play without needing much substitution. The more I study Arteta, the more I get to like his personality and style. We have a pure gold in our hands and time will confirm that.

Teryima Adi

Amen

The_Golden_Wrigglesworth

Arteta’s remarks certainly suggest that he’s expecting Willian to provide plenty of thrust from deeper positions.

Bryan!

I watched a youtube compilation of his work from the past season to help me feel good about the move, and it did show a lot of good moves through the middle — dribbling past people especially, something our squad doesn’t do much [FBRef shows Arsenal mid-table when it comes to dribbles].

AfroGooner

I like our Willy

backsakacrack

But can he handle the big occasion?

Granit(e) hard!

I can already hear the chant on match day..’Lets bring our Willy out, lets bring our Willy out’.

myrtle

Put Willy in: get Willy out

myrtle

After me now, 1,2,3…Wee’ve got the best hair in the league, the best hair in the league

Bryan!

We needed somebody to replace ‘Douzi’s ‘do if [likely when] he gets shipped out.

Up4GrabsNow!

Willian, Willian, he cost nearly nothing…

OsloGooner

Hopefully you will score against Chelsea and celebrate so they get a feel of what it’s like when a former player rubs it in.

I think this will be a good signing for us, if Arteta play him at Cam, and then Pepe and Auba on the right and left. Laca/Nketiah at striker.
We can get a good free flowing attack and when he’s 34/35 or injured we can let Nelson, Saka, Martinelli rotate

thw14

Sounds like someone’s briefed him to say ‘Arteta’ a lot.

Dave cee

I.m sure I’ve heard that ‘this Club deserves to shine again’ line somewhere too. Oh yeah, his mate Dave. It’s just PR bollocks but if he can help make it happen then I’ll be happy

Theoptimist

I think ‘Arteta’s project’ is the least embarrassing reason a footballer can give for joining a city rival who are lower in the table than your old club.
He mentions the stadium, the way we play… not a lot more. Interesting he is here ‘to help’ and not the usual ‘I came to Arsenal to win the league’ – I like his realism and honesty, would be nice if he really enjoyed himself here and began to love the club

LEFT08

Or one last payday…

OsloGooner

Do you say that about Giroud when he left for Chelsea? Let’s give him a chance before we say he’s all about the money.. Our society is build on capitalism and money so let’s stop calling people greedy when we need money to live..

Qwaliteee

Exactly.

All he’s come here to help is himself.

Onenil

Unduly negative comment.
He’s an excellent pro, always works hard, never hides. Just had a good season in terms of attacking creativity which we lack.
Yes he is paid well and his legs won’t last forever, but he is a good signing.

Tommmy

Welcome to the club Willian.
I would have preferred a 2 year deal for you, and I’m not a fan of the 220/250k a week number being mentioned.
However I’m not an accountant I’m an arsenal fan who wants to watch us play good football and win more than we lose.
I hope you’re can make both those things happen for the next 3 years.

Theoptimist

I’m not sure he’s reading this tbh

Chan

‘I come to help in every position’

Sounds great. We happen to need additional CB, CM, backup LB if Kolasinac leaves, top striker if Auba doesnt sign and also 2nd choice keeper if one of Leno / martinez leaves.

bendtnerschristmastree

auba has already signed though. all the club photographers and social media admins have been bombarding us with auba content. just like they did with saka before anouncing it.

Arsenorf

Mesut who?

Qwaliteee

? Congratulations, mate.

In terms of the most ignorant post I’ve ever read on this page, yours is romping home.

Theoptimist

Well, Ozil is not being mentioned by anybody any more, apart from himself. In fact Willian might be asked to fill that creative role.
Did he say ‘I’m looking forward to playing with Ozil, the best player in the world”?
No, he did not. Has anyone at the club shed any more light on the Ozil situation? No they have not!

So Mesut who? Is not so ignorant as it seems, in some ways

Qwaliteee

Really?

Well let’s see how this new, all-conquering No. 10 of yours performs.

Judging from your nailed-on confidence, a glorious Ozil-free procession back to top four awaits.

Liverpool and City will surely be quaking in their boots….?

Jbone

…my pension fund

Bai Blagoi

“Come to help”, “project”… It’s like listening to Lichtsteiner when he signed.

bendtnerschristmastree

I’m actually warming up a bit to this signing. 32 does seem to be the new 29 in football. I’m pretty sure he’ll have atleast two good years with us, and if he drops off in the end of his contract we’ll hopefully have saka and martinelli putting the place ablaze by then.

bendtnerschristmastree

also, his injury record is unbelievably good. just look at all the elderman in serie a, and the impact david silva still has in a very good city side.

Mentalista

So you’re saying he’s 29 until he’s 33?

Bendtnerschristmastree

thats how it works.

Goonertic

I think Martinelli is nearly there in terms of time. This youngster is an exceptional talent and will undoubtedly be coveted by the likes of Real Madrid sooner rather than later, but let’s enjoy him in an Arsenal shirt while we can. Hopefully this injury hasn’t set him back too much.

Ozenal

Id love to see some footage of him playing through the middle.

Haven’t seen much of him pay tbh, but I know his workrate and attitude are important to the kids.

Lord Bendnter

Whaaaaat! I thought he was signing for Leicester, what a shock!

Goodebemeyang

I’m going to get downvoted like crazy, but this is the worst signing we’ve made in all my life supporting this club. Poor poor sackable decision from the board. There’s a 95% chance he won’t perform in the last year of his contract, hell I don’t even think he’ll perform in the first year. He’s got around 8 G/A every year since signing for Chelsea, no Chelsea didn’t actually want to keep him. I know it’s not my money but it just feels like throwing money down the drain. This is NOT getting SMART in the market. Name one club… Read more »

Anon456

Why do people keep mentioning the 55 members of staff – Sven himself called our staffing and scouting levels “dysfunctional” and “a mess” – an argument with Raul about wanting to trim our scouting is why he left apparently. We were bloated and a.mess – Svens own words !!! https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/premier-league/arsenal-news-mikel-arteta-sanllehi-mislintat-joorabchian-luiz-a9580756.html Lets see how he performs and where he plays – if he helps get us back into the champions league then its money very well spent – and the 200k + a week is including a signing on bonus and agent fees, perfectly normal for a free transfer. He is… Read more »

Charles MMM

I can feel the optimism while reading your pessimism.

Goonerink

Psg, juventus, 3 Chinese clubs.
Chelsea did want to keep him, he was their pots the year before, and they offered him a new contract with improved terms at least once.

Also who gets the sack? Arteta? Raul? Edu? Huss fahmy?

Rincewind

Raul.

Paul Roberts

£100,000 per week. The rest is the signing on fee and other things spread over 3 years I hope.

Qwaliteee

You hope. ?

Qwaliteee

Spot on. You will get down-voted, by people who know all about FIFA ‘20 and nothing about the real world. This is a bang average signing for three years on £250k a week. People are comparing him to Ozil, but the guy isn’t fit to lace Ozil’s boots. This is his last big pay packet; he won’t be tearing up any trees, least of all Premiership ones. I was prepared to to wait and see what would happen in the light of Ozil being ostracised – and now this – we have Arteta talking him up as a No. 10.… Read more »

Martin

Repeat it’s £100,000 a week.

DaDude

We don’t need someone to lace Özil’s boots, because Özil won’t need to lace his boots anymore. At least not for us.

Onenil

I just repeated your comment…
Ozil is finished and it’s not a conspiracy.

Onenil

Why would Ozil need to lace his boots? He’s retired, and will be spending next season on the beach.

Gudang Bedil

Missed our Coq jokes. But now we get a Willy!

Byo

Arseblog, for the 9 years(I’ve been reading/listening) has provided a haven for supporters of the Arsenal worldwide. And it has provided a haven for considered and respectful opinions, while eschewing personal attacks.
Thank you.

Qwaliteee

Totally agree.

If only the same could be said for the current Arsenal boardroom.

BillyKrystal

I’ll try to remain positive, but what a baffling signing. Actually fuck that, it’s a garbage signing. Can’t wait to see him in 2023 making cameos 10x a season, and preventing us from doing other business. A total farce.

T.A.

It does seem like it could turn into another Ozil situation. Are there really no similar but younger and much much cheaper players in the lower leagues? Watching the EL and CL matches you can also easily spot many excellent yet still inexpensive attacking players in clubs like Sevilla, Leipzig and Atalanta. I fear the board is taking a huge risk in trying to get quickly back into the CL rather than patiently building a strong squad.

Qwaliteee

I find it totally hilarious that people are comparing this player’s contract with Ozil.

Willian is an average player st best; he may be a great guy but in terms of skill, he’s not fit to lace Ozil’s boots.

Seriously, a large portion of Arsenal’s fan base have got a rude awakening in the post.

Theoptimist

Ozil wouldn’t even lace anyone’s boots at the moment, though. He probably couldn’t be arsed. How can you defend him? He’s not even on the bench and the last three managers have given him all the chances.
At least William looks like he gave everything at his last club. Player of the season! Hopefully he will have more enthusiasm and drive than Mesut ‘just biding my time’ Ozil

DaDude

Errr, you are talking about a CL semi finalist, a CL quarter finalist and an EL semi finalist. What makes you think their players are cheap?

mike mwan

Why Arsenal?
Answer: They gave me the most money for the longest duration.

Santori

Word.

Gunnerlocutor

This lad needs to up his cliche game. “Give 100%”? What the hell is that? Come on son, we need AT LEAST 110%.

Daz

Glad he has joined. I see him on the right of a front 3. Coutinho on the right Auba through the middle.

Theoptimist

We’ll just leave Pepe on the bench then, or flog him for £73m? He’s going nowhere Daz. I hope he steps up next season

Teryima Adi

Welcome, Willian

Santori

Have to back him now that he’s signed. Not convinced that we should be offering high wages for a 32yr old and would have preferred a younger option but we are lacking ball retention on both flanks with Auba and Pepe. Willian likely starting on right side will give us an option to Pepe and the emerging Nelson. Also potentially can play through the middle. Whether we can hold on to Auba remains to be seen. I have my doubts given his age and the allure of CL clubs over us plus that one last big move for him to… Read more »

Santori

Lets try to be a bit more positive….still question marks with our buying and this deal but Perisic played well today against Barca and that’s a 32yr old. I’m not happy with the length of the contract and the pay but it was on a free… My worry is impact to other additions we may need we all want to offload players but as can be seen by Ozil, Elneny and Mhkitaryan easier said than done. Then you end up with having to hopefully secure loans for peripheral players or take huge cuts in offer price for them to move… Read more »