Arsenal urged to offload ‘very talented player’ to accommodate younger players

Noel Whelan has urged Arsenal to offload Willian at all costs, with a number of younger talents in the squad with more to ‘offer’ the club.

The Gunners signed the Brazilian 12 months ago on a free transfer from London rivals Chelsea, agreeing a three-year deal to move across the capital.

That move hasn’t really worked out for either party however, and the two are expected to part ways this summer, but we appear to be struggling to find him a new home at present.

Whelan has urged us to remove his ‘extortionate wages’ from the budget however, insisting that we have younger players who have more to offer in the roles.

“Yeah. A player that signed for Arsenal and didn’t hit the heights everyone expected,” Whelan told the FootballInsider.

“We saw the best of him Chelsea but certainly didn’t see the Willian that played for Chelsea at Arsenal.

“A player that is probably on extortionate wages there after coming in as a free contract.

“He’s not hit the heights and has been a disappointment in most people’s eyes. We expected a lot more from a very, very talented player.

“I don’t think Arsenal will be too bothered about losing Willian. That’d be best for both parties.

“I believe they’ve got players there that could probably do a better job. Younger in age as well and more for the future than Willian can offer them.”

We know that the 32 year-old has ability, but for some reason he isn’t able to show that in our famous red and white, and at his age, there is little point in waiting around and hoping for a miracle.

There is little doubt that both the club and the fans would be happy to see him leave, but I do fear that we will end up stomaching part of his wages thanks to the deal we struck last summer.


Tags noel whelan Willian


  1. Again an article on this topic which is obvious. Of course Willian is too old, not concerned and never loved the club. I still can’t get why arteta who value a lot spirit and commitment wanted this guy. Because we might say it was joorabchian or edu but arteta apparently had meetings trying to convince him to play for us… I know he was good at Chelsea not that far ago but still difficult to understand

    1. Not even mentioning his shape back from holidays. The guys should knows he needs to do more this year and proves he deserves his money….

  2. Good luck with that one mate. How the hell are we going to get him to leave, with the wages he’s on. It’s exactly the same as with Oil, and no other club will want to pick up his wage bill. And why is he figuring in pre-season games. We should pay up his contract and say goodbye, but we won’t.

  3. Leave him at home like Arteta did Ozil.
    Lot of talk about “ruthless” but have yet to see it extended to the veterans.

  4. “So Willian mate Arsenal management here.
    We want you to leave and believe Charlton want to sign you but you need to take a 90k p/w pay cut. Willian, Willian are you there? He’s hung up?
    Alexander. Laca my man we need to get you off the pay roll. Lyon want you back however you must take a 100k p/w pay cut. Sorry sounded like you said luck off ..Laca are you there Laca?
    He’s hung up too.
    Lucas? Lucas Torreira? Is that you. This is management here and just to confirm you can leave if some pays 20 mill for you but you have to take a 100% pay cut. Lucas ? Lucas? He’s gone.
    Something wrong with phone reception my calls keep cutting out.
    Oh well last one is Kolasinac he will surely leave and take a 75k p/w pay cut. He’s not picking up.
    What’s with these Ozil phones any way?
    To be continued and continued… and continued.


      If I could have my way, in a fantasy land, I would instantly decrease ALL contracts by at least 90 percent. And use the money saved to vastly reduce ticket prices and thus get some ethical thinking back into our top level sport . If only! Sigh!

  5. Pay half the wage with another club. (Or what ever the percent is) Tell him he won’t play this season so might as well leave where he will get game time and still get his incredible pay.
    He could be useful in another league some where but he is in the way of our younger players development.

    1. Half the wage is unlikely to be enough but I’d take it if there is a club dumb enough to make such an offer.

  6. Look to expect the willian of Chelsea to play the same electric game at 32 at Arsenal is cloud cuckoo land,he is losing pace by every year, we took a gambol, we lost,so far.

  7. Another pundit who is a complete idiot. Of course Arsenal want to get rid of Willian but his wages make it impossible. Whelan makes it sound like Arsenal are standing in the way of a sale.

  8. the club need some experience leaders to guide and lead the youngsters

    we cant be fielding an entire u23 players and try to win games

    Willian can be a squad player, coming on as a sub in the final 15 or 20mins to calm the nerves or defend a win or etc…

    1. Not thank you personnally. Not at the price he comes with and did not even show that last year. We already have auba or laca. We have partey. We have Leno, chambers…. No need to give away money for this guy

  9. I doubt that William is quite the same type of self centred person, at least not to the extent that OZIL was.

    Unlike Ozil, I DO believe that Willian would gladly leave, IF he could get even half “decent” wages and not hold out for every last penny our club contracted him to. But frankly, that possibility seems unlikely, as there are few other mug clubs around who would take him on. Sigh!

    OZIL SIMPLY “RETIRED” ON FULL PAY for all the use he was in his last five years.

    I accept that many , even most older players are obviously putting their future after playing before the interest of their club, where wages and contracts are concerned. (I say “I accept” it but of course it is a scandal, but so are ALL Prem wages, so I won’t go further down that scandalous side issue, for now).

    But Willian is still a near useless mercenary and is by far MA ‘s gravest mistake. Whatever came into MAs and EDUs heads last summer when they offered this useless lump a THREE YEAR CONTRACT on such a wage is inexplicable.

    Their only possible excuse was that when at Chelsea he was not a lazy player. But age can change older players priorities and this is a salient thought that should always be any managers mind. I do not say ALL older players act this way, but timing in life is critical to ALL our decisions, in football and ALL of us, in our lives in general.

    The firm evidence now is that MA/EDU are now firmly moving in the healthy direction of garnering younger players and the teams average age is shrinking fast and will continue doing so , when both AUBA and LACA leave.
    Who knows when that will be, BUT I will be very surprised if either are still here in season ’22-23.

    My view is that MA/ EDU have consequently BOTH learned the huge error of awarding post age 30 players such bonkers contracts but the Willian damage is already done. IT MUST NEVER – ON PAIN OF SACKING – EVER BE REPEATED.

    1. Not contradicting you in any way.

      Arteta lost just one league game (his second game, Vs Chelsea) while he handed Ozil 10 starts in the league before he was frozen from the mach-day squad.

      But, from 16 starts by Willian under Arteta, we lost 9 league games.

      Arteta froze Ozil out and persisted with Willian last season, for non-sporting reasons, if we look at the numbers.

      1. Vas C, Is not the plain truth that both Ozil and Wiilan were playing and financial “disasters” and that their only true difference is the sheer TIME that Ozil had here to cheat our club. Willian has cheated us for only one season , AS OF NOW.
        I do FIRMLY believe that MA and EDU have learned their expensive and gravely mistaken lesson in signing older, non committed players like Willian – Ozil being Wengers/ Gazidis’s mistake of course – and that all thr evidence shows that they are now actively seeking younger players across the whole squad.

        It is pointless now still punishing MA for past mistakes , since he is not going to be sacked – whatever such as Logic, HH, Reggie and dan kit etc wish, at least not in the immediate and foreseeable future.

        As a pragmatist, I say we support them both and get behind our club. I have NO agendas, except SUPPORTING our club to the best of my ability.

        But then, I did not grow up in this age of expected and demanded instant gratification. And I am extremely thankful for that too!

        1. I agree Jon, that Arteta and Edu will have learned a difficult lesson from Willian’s 3 year deal. Signing him wasn’t a problem but 3 years was cuckoo.

          AW, whilst making errors like we all do in life, had the sense (or stats to prove) that in the vast majority of cases performance tails off and offered the one year rolling deal

          The fact that Willian was wanted in America but didn’t fancy less pay speaks volumes. As someone wrote earlier, it is disrespectful to come back with a pot belly.

        2. Jon according to some contributors to this site, Arteta was to blame for the decline of Ozil?Such is their intense antagonism towards our Manager I am told that the fact we finished 8th in the League is the reason we are unable to sell Bellerin?I don’t suppose it could have anything to do with the fact that without his pace he is a mediocre player?

          1. Ozil never declined under Arteta. Ozil started 10 league games under Arteta when he first arrived, turned himself into an umbrella model until the end of the season and was left out of the playing squad next season. Ozil simply didn’t play under Arteta for reasons unbeknownst to us. Only the number of games Ozil played declined in his last season with us. There’s no way to find a decline in the player’s performances, if he are not playing. Hence, to blame Arteta for something that didn’t happen is unwarranted.

            If our management chose not to utilize a player, they must back themselves with an improvement in the team’s league standing after leaving out that player from the squad. Successive 8th place is what they’ve achieved after spending millions on a player who wasn’t utilized.

            But, credit where it’s due. I congratulate our management for getting Ozil off our books forever and efficiently recruiting, a very “cheaper” alternative to him, Willian.

          2. I hope Arteta comes good Grandad. He might not have it, but I admired the way he set about the job in hand.

            I believe everyone got a clean slate and those that didn’t profit from it were either not good enough in his opinion, or didn’t fit with what he was trying to do. It’s the name of the game. You’re in with one manager and out with the next… the life of a professional footballer…

    2. When all this Ozil stuff was really hot on this site, all you did was moan at him being brought up.

      just leave Ozil out of it now he’s gone.

      why bring him up at all, we all know how much you hate the guy

  10. I can’t understand why clubs pay such ridiculous wages some players are on 350/400 grand a week it breaks clubs, some people say they have short carrers but on average they get 10/15 years out of football, their should be a cap on wages that no players should earn anymore than 100 grand a week after taxes, now if my maths are correct in their careers they will earn then 50/75 million, and let them fleece the sponsorships, look what doctors, nurses, health workers earn in their carrers compared to footballers is scandalous…

    1. I agree Jim. But there is no business like Show business. The entertainment industry (which sports is a subsidiary) is a behemoth of money, so the wage would only skyrocket. But if a cap was put on it, it would be lovely. We can even make a category and give them a grade. AS in A players B players and so on. A players can earn from 100k to 120k. B from 80k to 100. And players performance and age would be the deterministic criteria to classify players.

  11. Well, Willian broke into a sweat yesterday, something I never expected, maybe things are looking up (yes I know!)… plus I think he’s given the doughnuts a miss for the last week as he looked slimmer, either that or he’s opted for the next size up 😄

  12. Arsenal overpaid for Willian because it was the only way they could sign him. The same was true for Ozil after Alexis refused to negotiate a new contract. On paper, the Willian signing made a lot of sense. He was a very productive wing player, scoring and providing assists from the flanks; while also being versatile enough to play as a #10, roles Arsenal needed.

    Unfortunately, he did not have a great season. That is always a risk when you sign any player; he may not live up to his contract. Otherp layers outplay their deals.

    Aubameyang played better than his contract for his first few years, got a new deal, and had his worst year at Arsenal. Evaluating his and Lacazette’s performances empiricially, it is obvious the issue was a wretched midfield, not the strikers’ performances that were lacking. Lacazette had an excellent chances to conversion ratio he just never got many chances. Scoring like he did as a part-time striker was, in fact, outstanding. Similarly, when you look at the assist numbers form Arsenal’s midfield, Aubameyangs lack of scoring is entirely understandable.

    When you don’t have a lot of assists, how can it be surprising you don’t have a lot of goals from your strikers?

    Sadly, the club has yet to address the lack in the transfer window. Instead of signing a midfielder with a proven track record of goals and assists from #10 or central midfielder, the club has signed, to date, a reserve left back, a young midfielder form Belgium, and, if rumors are believed, a center back to add to the third-best defense in the league.

    In addition, they are selling their most consistent midfielder (Xhaka) and a top fullback (Bellerin) without having replaced him. It is really difficult to imagine the team, as currently constituted, improving on last season’s performances.

    1. Paul, I concur with your sentiments regarding both the problematic circumstances surrounding the WIllian and Ozil deals and the struggles of our strikers, due in large part to our overwhelmingly negative tactics and our lack of a viable presence in the middle of the park, in most matches…there’s no doubt, that if we don’t properly address our obvious deficiencies, which were clearly identified by season’s end, we will almost assuredly struggle again, regardless of who’s playing up top

  13. I am very late to this one and as such I doubt that my post will be read (perhaps that is just as well) but I am still reluctant to post it!

    When we brought Willian in I thought it looked like a good move but it didn’t work out on the pitch last season, not unlike a number of other things to be truthful

    I think it suits us fans to exaggerate how bad he was last season, he was extremely disappointing and I felt he let Arteta down but was he even our worst player?

    He played the same number of league games as Partey who I thought was slightly worse than Willian overall

    I don’t get as jammed up on £ figures as some of you on the basis that the Club does what it does financially to do what it has to do on the playing side, whether we like our owners and board or not the Club appears to be being run well from a financial point of view, if we can afford it we do it if we think it will help the team on the pitch and as Arsenal never reveal costs publicly unless they have to we only have the media to thank for the numbers we quote and they have an agenda, invariably the transfer fees and weekly salaries that we use in our arguments will be presented by the media as worst case costs but are likely to be linked to a number of variables, maybe appearances for example which would perhaps talk to Ozil not playing after Arteta had a good look at him on the pitch and training ground when he arrived and decided he would be better off without him actually in the side or on the bench, satisfying his paymasters at the same time

    Having said all that, I go back to my Partey comparison, with a “reported” £45M tansfer fee to consider alongside probably a similar weekly wage to Willain whether you agree that Partey was slightly worse than Willian last season or not then Willian probably did represent better value for money out of the two during that season alone and when you consider that our reported “loss” during COVID (so far) was about the same as Partey’s transfer fee alone last year perhaps on the face of it he was the “mistake” not Willian

    Don’t get me wrong I don’t think we should give up on Partey at all and I don’t think we should necessarily give up on Willian, although if we find a buyer now goodo, I don’t think Arteta has given up on Willian, he has had quite a few game minutes in pre season friendlies so far, I don’t expect him to play every minute of every game next term, I didn’t think that last term, but unless he is sold I think he will play more than expected, however if he is sold we have cut our losses considerably as there was no transfer fee up front

    Despite Whelan’s alleged opening line quote above I think if anything he has more of a role to play with our extremely promising youngsters now, forget age he has experience as a winner of titles and with Luiz gone he has the opportunity (but maybe not the ability) to bring that to the party, possibly as much on the training ground and dressing room as the match day pitch

    Every chance I am completely wrong on all counts here but I do think there is a chance Willian will stay and make a contribution to what I believe will be a good season for us coming up but if not I guess what I am saying is that he was worth a try

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