Willian signing impeded Nelson’s development as an Arsenal player
Willian looks set to be the second departure from the Emirates Stadium this season, after it was confirmed that Arsenal would not be extending David Luiz’s contract.
Willian’s departure would put an end to a marriage that clearly wasn’t working. Edu and Mikel Arteta would have been the first ones to agree to it.
The Brazilian has looked lackluster for the majority of his Arsenal career. When Mikel Arteta was nervously trying to put a key to start Arsenal’s engine at the beginning of the campaign, Willian was certainly the wrong key.
But the Spaniard was reluctant to replace him with either Nicolas Pepe or Reiss Nelson.
However, Pepe got his due opportunities as the season went on.
But Reiss Nelson’s development came to an abrupt halt. And one of the major reasons for it was the signing of Willian.
When Arsenal needed a spark in their Premier League campaign, Nelson, who was given a handful of games, hardly provided it.
But he was no worse than Willian, who looked awfully uninspiring and out of his depths.
The 21-year-old winger has just two appearances in the league, with a further seven coming in Europa League group stages, EFL, FA Cup and Community Shield.
He was never given a long stretch of games, and thus it looks highly likely that he will follow suit, to leave the Gunners in the upcoming shop window.
Arsenal fans can only imagine how better things would have been if they had not signed the former Chelsea man.
Even if Reiss Nelson had not played well in those games (in which Willian started), his market value would have been far more than what it is currently.
Regret among fans and maybe even the Arsenal board would definitely be more than the impact Willian has made in his Arsenal career so far.
If the Red and Whites do end up convincing Nelson to stay, it will be a smart move, but a move that came a bit late.
One year in a player’s development is massive especially when the player is already in his early 20s. And the club has only themselves to be blamed for the current situation.
Arsenal have been a club that has acted re-actively rather than pro-actively for several years. And that’s frustrating for Arsenal fans.
The North London side reportedly offered Shkodran Mustafi a contract extension in October last year, only for him to reject it.
It should not be a case of the player rejecting the club. But vice versa. The club should be telling those players that you should leave the club.
They have been very soft at boardroom level and that needs to change. Remember when Arsenal rejected a 60 million bid from Manchester City for Alexis Sanchez, only for him to leave on a free?
They have made considerable investment in Mesut Ozil, Lucas Perez, Danny Welbeck, Alexis Sanchez and Sokratis, only for them to leave for nothing.
This is a club which needs to be smart if it wants to be ‘sustainable.’