Arsenal have completed and confirmed the signing of Willian from Chelsea. The winger joins the Gunners as a free agent on a three-year contract, having failed to agree a similar deal with the Blues.
The length of the contract on offer at Stamford Bridge was reportedly the main issue the player and the club couldn’t find common ground over. Willian was apparently adamant that his future should be secure for at least three years, which Chelsea simply refused to comply with. Their policy of not giving out long-term contract to players over 30 has been well-documented in recent years.
Having started his career with Corinthians in his native Brazil, Willian moved to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2007 where he played for six years. From there, he made a short trip to Anzhi Makhachkala, before eventually joining Chelsea in the summer of 2013. In the seven years that have passed since, he made a total of 339 appearances for the Blues in all competitions, with 63 goals and 62 assists to his name, and helped them win the Premier League twice, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa League.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta expressed great satisfaction with the acquisition of the 32-year-old. He revealed that it was his intention to add a quality player to the attacking midfield section, and though Willian is primarily a right winger, his versatility will likely be of great help to the Gunners in that segment.
Arteta also said he was impressed by Willian’s desire to join Arsenal and help them find their way back to the top of English football.