Arsenal complete signing of free agent Willian
The 32-year-old Brazilian is the latest player to leave Chelsea and join rivals Arsenal
Arsenal have announced the signing of Brazil international Willian on a three-year deal. Photograph: PA
Arsenal have completed the signing of Willian on a three-year deal.
The 32-year-old Brazilian winger was a free agent after leaving Chelsea, having spent seven years at Stamford Bridge. He had rejected the offer of a two-year extension with the club and has now joined one of their London rivals.
“[I LIKE] the way they play, and I think that with [MIKEL]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,” Willian told Arsenal’s official website. “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.”
Arteta admitted he was impressed by Willian’s desire to join Arsenal. “I believe he’s a player that can really make a difference for us,” he 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. 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 still has 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.”
Willian helped Chelsea to two Premier League titles, one FA Cup triumph and the 2019 Europa League, when Maurizio Sarri’s men thumped Arsenal 4-1 in Baku. The former Corinthians player was forced to watch on when Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 in this year’s FA Cup final, however, missing out through a troublesome ankle problem.
“I know him very well, since a long time ago because we’ve been working together for the Brazilian national team and of course I was following him because he played for another club,” said Edu, Arsenal’s technical director. “He has a lot of fantastic attributes as a person, as a football player of course, his character. I’m sure everybody in the dressing room, the fans, myself and Mikel will enjoy having Willian in our side.”
Willian will wear No 12 at Arsenal. - Guardian