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Arsenal’s capture of Willian this summer seemed like shrewd business. However, a series of poor displays and some even worse statistics show why this is nothing more than a costly mistake. Connor Humm details his failures….
When Arsenal signed Willian from ChelseaI really thought we took a diamond out of the bag. A Brazilian international with Premier League and winning experience in a FREE transfer. Mr. Edu Gaspar, you have done a crazy thing, that being the key word, it really was that, but for all the wrong reasons.
Going back to the start of the season when Arsenal went to Craven Cottage and won 3-0 with our new signing at the heart of every goal. We all think, ‘wow! this guy is on his knees, how did Chelsea let him go?
Well now I’m fully aware why, and I’m sure all the fans who watch us week after week can see what I can. After that match I jokingly tweeted that Henrikh Mkhitaryan started his club career with three assists just like Willian and look how it turned out. Well, it turned out better than what the former Blues man is currently doing.
I know a lot of Chelsea fans and they used to go crazy watching him play and I was watching the same game and sometimes I felt like I was watching a different game because he wasn’t bad. On the contrary, he was one of the most influential players on the field, which makes his current form all the more puzzling.
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So, let’s look at the numbers. Since that spectacular performance against Fulham, Willian he has scored an unimpressive attendance and zero goals in 25 appearances in all competitions. The Gunners are traditionally one of the most prolific scorers in the Premier League and having a direct hit on the goal like this is nothing short of embarrassing for a guy making £ 200,000 a week.
Now, goals and assists are not the definitive principle of football if you are doing everything else right. There was consensus that Willian was preferred to Nicholas Pepe early in the season due to an apparent “more defensive mentality” in his game that the Ivorian lacked.
Now I do not doubt that the signing of the club has defensive lapses in his game. But I have yet to see Willian play the better role after watching him jog across the field against Leeds on the weekend for 30 minutes, seemingly in his own little world.
Mikel Arteta said earlier in the season after a win over Newcastle: “I think I was getting better and better. Today was the first time the game started. He [Willian] He had some good times and he had other times where he needed more help at times, and some decisions weren’t the best. But we’re going to keep trying with him. “
Following this statement from the boss, he has continued to back the winger by playing with him over and over again to the surprise of the fanbase. It makes it even more irritating given Willian’s answer, which is non-existent.
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Willian blocking the path of others
Now Willian takes me around the corner looking at him, but nothing he does when he plays comes even remotely close to my biggest complaint with all of this. The fact that he is on that squad is taking an opportunity away from our young people.
Reiss Nelson can’t even sniff out the first team right now, a player who put the champions to the sword at the Emirates last season.
Then there’s Gabriel Martinelli, who is arguably the most exciting prospect in the club alongside Bukayo Saka right now. Even Jurgen Klopp can see the magic in the Brazilian!
Willian came in against Leeds with half an hour remaining at 4-0 up. You’ve got a hungry 19-year-old on the bench wanting to get a piece of the action, ‘but the coach has chosen to bring in a 32-year-old washed winger instead. Now, what does that do to the young player’s confidence? Nothing good that’s for sure.
Due to the coronavirus, clubs have a unique opportunity to put young players on the foundations of their team without the added pressure of a crowd in a matchday. We all know that soccer fans can be brutal. One mistake and it could define his career. Players have the freedom to express themselves without being pressured by fans when it doesn’t go as planned.
Arteta continues to support Willian
Arteta spoke before the Benfica game about the criticism of Willian. He said, “I’m not saying it’s unfair. Willy’s expectations and the goals he can score, the assists he can create. It is normal for people to write things about him. We have to protect it as much as we can. “
Even the coach can see that there is a problem here, so why is Arsenal still playing with him? It does not make any sense. Two lessons I’ve learned from Willian’s transfer to Arsenal is that you can get something for free and still get scammed and, most importantly, not sign Chelsea players…!
The Gunners host Manchester City in shape on Sunday and there may be another chance for Willian to start making a living. Somehow I just can’t see this happening. And in the days when every penny counts at Arsenal, this has to be a very expensive mistake!
Town Connor Humm