“I wasn’t happy” Willian gives reasons why he flopped at Arsenal

Willian has opened up on his ill-fated spell at Arsenal and insists he wasn’t happy at the Emirates.

The Brazilian joined the Gunners at the start of last season after running down his contract at Chelsea.

He was one of the best players in the Premier League during Project Restart and had demanded a three-year deal from the Blues.

They declined, Arsenal agreed, and he moved to the Emirates as one of the finest free agents.

But Willian struggled in North London and was never a fans’ favourite at the club before leaving at the end of the season.

In a new interview, he discusses life for him at the Emirates and claimed he wanted out as soon as he joined the club.

“I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t happy. That’s why I didn’t perform. I don’t want to go into the details,” Willian told Rio Ferdinand’s YouTube channel Five.

“When I arrived there I was happy, from the beginning I was motivated, I wanted to do well – new club, new mates, new project.

“But after three months, I said to my agent: ‘Please, I want to go’. I don’t want to speak bad about the club, because it is a big club. Arsenal has a big history.

“In football, big players played there before as well. But it didn’t work, it didn’t work. It was, of course, the most difficult time of my career.

“It was big money that I gave up. But sometimes money is not the most important thing in life. I think you need to be happy, get pleasure every day waking up in the morning to go to train. I wasn’t having that.

“So I said to myself, with my family, I cannot stay here, I am not happy here. I have to leave, find a way out, leave the club, because if I stay I am going to stay the same. For me, it’s unfair to stay in a place that you don’t want to stay just because of the money. For me, it was that.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

Willian was never the right fit for the club and his performance is probably one reason Arteta has focused on signing younger players now.

The Spaniard seems to think the older stars, like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, have reached a point in their career where it is hard for them to improve or adapt.

That was probably Willian’s problem at the Emirates.

Tags Willian


  1. Willian was one the biggest blessing in disguise. His transfer changed the way edu n Arteta approached the transfer market. And now we are blessed with a talented squad and an Auba

  2. It seems then that Willian did tear up his contract. Money isn’t everything when you are a millionaire several times over and credit to him for putting personal well-being above it.

    1. Totally agree SueP. I’ve got a lot of respect for Willian, both for the fact that he’s not dishing the dirt and for walking away from a lot of guaranteed money.

      Many of us wouldn’t do the same. Many players haven’t.

  3. Just show us the money, Willian …and shut up! He pocketed close to 10M (in my estimate) as incentive to leave and yet he is still talking.

    1. I, like you, very much doubt the notion that he walked away with empty pockets…I would suggest that he signed a NDA, which allows him some leeway when discussing his departure, so long as he avoided previously agreed upon issues that might reflect poorly on the club

  4. No matter how it’s dressed up to make MA and Edu look as if they ended up smelling of roses, this was a disastrous deal.

    Willian still walked away with more £££££’s than the average person could dream about and for what?!?!

    At least, as Voyageur says, he’s not dishing the dirt, but neither did Ozil and nor has Aubameyang…. YET!!!

  5. Fair play to Willian for not staying and soaking up wages for nothing.

    It was obvious he didn’t want to be there, it was evident in his body language and play.

    Lazy, disinterested, not tracking back, and half-hearted presence on the pitch was an embarrassment. It made Arteta and Edu seem foolish and turned some fans against him early.

    Arteta should have kept him on the bench, because that unhappiness resulted in a garbage year for him. Surprised Arteta kept playing him when he obviously was not mentally or professionally giving his all.

  6. A section of the Arsenal fan base has developed an abusive approach to all our problems.. players don’t want to come here anymore because we are the most toxic fans especially to our own players.. I support whoever puts on the shirt to perform to the best of their abilities not wish people and their families cancer because I don’t like them personally that is BS.

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