Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Willian on a free transfer from London rivals Chelsea on a three-year deal in their first major transfer market foray this summer.
Willian of Chelsea warms up prior to during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield on July 22, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social d
“I believe he’s a player that can really make a difference for us," Mikel Arteta said.
"We have been monitoring him for the past few months, we had a clear intention to strengthen in the attacking midfielder and the winger positions [and] he is a player that gives us a lot of versatility, he can play in three or four different positions.
"He has the experience of everything in the football world but to still have the ambition to come here and contribute to bring the club where it belongs. I have been really impressed with all the talks I have had with him and how much he wanted to come.”
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Expert View - a needless and tone deaf signing
Arsenal have been stung before by offering a large contract to an ageing attacking midfielder and now seem desperate to get Mesut Ozil off their wage bill at all costs.
In Willian, they have signed an even older playmaker and offered him a three-year contract reportedly worth in excess of £30 million to boot.
That this news comes so soon after the Gunners announced the imminent sacking of 55 members of staff, including some long-standing scouts, makes this a tone deaf signing and Willian's relationship with Kia Joorabchian will raise further questions about the Gunners' own dealings with the controversial agent.