Former Chelsea defender gives his opinion on why Arsenal are about to land Willian

Mario Melchiot has revealed that Chelsea has only allowed Willian to leave them and join Arsenal because the 31-year-old (32 on Sunday) has reached a certain age,

Willian is set to become the second player in successive seasons to swap Stamford Bridge for the Emirates.

The Brazilian has run down his contract with the Blues and he is on the verge of agreeing on a new three-year deal with Arsenal.

The Gunners will see off competition from the likes of Tottenham to sign a player that was arguably Chelsea’s best player on the restart of the Premier League.

He will be an important and experienced addition to Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal team, however, Melchiot reckons that he will not be such a miss for Chelsea because the Blues will have already decided that they can go forward without him.

The former Chelsea defender told BBC Radio 5 Live: “Arsenal, in my time, were the Invincibles – they had a great side and I think they still are a good team.

“Don’t get me wrong, they always produce some talented players.

“But when you look at Chelsea, they tried to hold onto a certain key thing now where players, when they get to a certain age, they always consider ‘do we really need this player?’

“I think with Willian, they made it clear. They negotiated a deal and it didn’t come the way Willian wanted it to.

“Arsenal were listening to that and tried to pinch him right before anything could happen.”

The winger will become a key member of Arteta’s team, but it remains unclear which position he will play for the club particularly because they had just spent so much money on Nicolas Pepe who plays on the right-wing.

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    1. Totally agree with what said, could be a great signing but mostly believe will be used as experience to some of our younger players same as Luiz.
      But still need to wait for confirmation that he has signed on the dotted line

    2. Think a lot of people are forgetting that at Shatkar and at Corinthians this lad made a name for himself operating primarily as an advanced playmaker (trequarista) fact he tore Chelsea apart in CL back in 2013 playing this very position with Shaktar. When he came to Chelsea that same year the team had 3 such players in Hazard, Alonso and Mata…this is how he wound up playing winger in the EPL… because… Hazard is Hazard. Willian’s skill level is such that he easily became a regular starter first on the left and later on the right …at 32 (happy birthday today 8/9!!) he is still speedy enough to operate in the hole position for Arsenal …as the Gunners often STRUGGLE to link play centrally as Ozil has been on a 3 year paid vacation …importantly Willian still has enough pace..maybe not for week in week out wingplay BUT def as a playmaker and occasional winger. I think Arteta is well well aware of this and has pushed for this signing. That he is Brazilian and the club is trying to bed in Martinelli and Saliba and hopefully Gabriel….to have a 7yr EPL starter in the squad adept at playmaker and winger and Brazilian is almost too good to be true. Willian in the hole behind Auba, Pepe and Saka/Martinelli is truly very scary stuff for any defense.

  1. Great post. The deal makes more sense to me in this context. Slipping Willian behind the front three with two of Xhaka, Ceballos and Partey behind looks good to me (getting ahead of myself I know…)

  2. I have just slightly altered my mind, which has tipped the balance on my opinion, on this now seemingly likely signing of Willian.
    I am still wary because of his age BUT he is still, RIGHT NOW, a top class player and quite positionally versatile. The propsed deal finances seem pleasantly realistic(as far as ANY Prem players wage can EVER be called realistic !!).

    He is hungry and generally naturally fit and I cannot foresee him becoming another OZIL type of leech. Willian has shown he has fight and character to my satisfaction and presumably to many others too.
    Ozil was very lazy right form his start here . Even in his first and second good and then satisfactory seasons, he was hardly a workaholic though was he! Willian is a different and TBH, a REAL man!

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