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.