Opinion: What positive thing has Willian contributed to Arsenal?

Arsenal gave Willian a three-year deal in the summer after Chelsea had turned down the same request from the Brazilian.

The attacker was one of the best players in England during Project Restart and it is understandable that the Gunners were keen to sign him.

Despite his form, some of us had reservations about his age and I wondered why he was looking for a long-term deal in England instead of going to China to make some good money.

It looked like we had scored a major coup when we signed him for free in the summer.

However, only a few games in and we still haven’t seen the best of him.

He has four league assists to his name after 14 league matches, that number itself isn’t so bad, however, when you consider that those numbers came in just two league matches and he hasn’t scored for the club yet, it gives you a better perspective.

Willian is in such bad form that he doesn’t just fail to contribute to our attack, he also struggles on the defensive side of the game.

He has spent much of this first season being anonymous in matches and I have no faith that his subsequent seasons with us will be any better.

Can anyone point out any positives that he has done for this club?

I can not.

An article from Ime

Tags Willian

75 Comments

  1. Sean Williams says:

    Willian has done nothing of use at all. I thought he might be a bit like Santi but I was wrong. The problem is there are five other players nearly as poor as Willian. Nobody though is poorer than Arteta who does not have a clue how do deal with our Hara Kiri, self harm, present situation. He should leave before we are the laughing stock of football. Clueless.

    1. Neath Gunner says:

      We are already the laughing stock.
      Life is tough.

    2. Dan kit says:

      Our wingers this season
      Goals – assists – mins played
      Willian. 0 3 882
      Saka. 1 0 991
      Pepe. 2 0 436
      Pepe and Willian get all the stick but they are more productive than Saka ,unless we don’t look at stats ,but we should do because that is how some fans measure Ozils career ,is it not .

  2. Cph says:

    He chased after more balls than Pepe and Nketiah yesterday. He also didn’t lose the ball as much as them

    1. John says:

      That’s in part because Eddie and Pepe are not good enough, and partly due to the fact that he disappeared for long stretched of the games, especially in the first half, so no wonder he didn’t lose the ball too often or make errant passes. The truth is, he is seeing out the autumn of his career on a massive salary, when in fact, he’s not worth a bean.

      1. Cph says:

        Then why people blast him more than Nketiah and Pepe?

        1. Andrew Elder says:

          Because he’s being paid £220k a week?

          1. Mark says:

            Wages will cost 35 M over 3 years and he came free.. Pepe cost 72 M and gets paid 140K/week..Your answer makes no sense.

    2. Reggie says:

      Come on chased is a bit strong!

      1. Cph says:

        Run after. What you want me to say?

        1. Reggie says:

          Jogged? Lol

    3. Ayo says:

      Yeah, he chased the ball and shadow mark a lot only to give it back in dangerous positions the few times he won it.

  3. lcw says:

    The only positive is showing the inaptitude of the Arsenal ownership. They hire managers who throw good money after bad and hope for miracles.

  4. Tas says:

    I was one of those supporters who was over the moon when we signed Willian this summer but now I regret us signing him, I can see it happening again like Ozils situation with Willian with huge salary he won’t want to leave toxic whether he plays or his siting home

    1. Ayo says:

      I vehemently prayed we missed out on signing him. I knew right then we are not a serious club. I only hoped it wont matter due to the way we ended last season.

    2. Mike says:

      And the crazy thing is he wasn’t free yes we didnt pay Chelsea a penny but he got a sign on fee in the region of 10 million pounds add the fees we had to pay his agent and his weekly wage and it works out to a pretty penny

  5. SA Gunner says:

    He has made us realise how far our beloved club has dropped in standards

  6. gotanidea says:

    Pros:
    – Can hold the ball well
    – Excellent close control
    – Produces good crosses

    Cons:
    – Not fast
    – Slow reaction
    – Small stature

    Playing him as a CAM would likely be worth it, as what he’s shown in the second half at Goodison Park

    1. Trudeau says:

      I was expecting him to be our CAM from day one but tbh I’d rather see ESR or Saka get some burn there. Willian’s attitude seems all wrong and cant help but think his decision to come to Arsenal was made for retirement nest egg reasons.

      1. gotanidea says:

        I think he’s still professional, but he’s definitely past his prime. If Arteta insists on using 4-2-3-1, he’d better try Ceballos or Willian as the CAM and we could use the money for other player type

        1. Abdullahi Garba says:

          The problem behind arsenal failure is stinginess in spending. There are lot of players that are not supposed to be in arsenal. Arsenal can only compete in premier league if they do away with them. they must sign creativity players especially in the midfield and goal scoring.

      2. Scubagooner says:

        I have also been looking at trying Saka in the 10 role. Maybe he is not natural there but he has good control and can pick a pass. Think it is worth a try. I would like to see Abu left, Laca up front, martinelli right and sake 10. Let’s face it we cannot do any worse.

    2. Best says:

      Thank you. Why do the coach play him on the right wing? The coach is the problem because central mildfield role suits his style of play more but because arteta doesn’t know this, he should be fired

      1. gotanidea says:

        Because Willian was mostly great as RW at Chelsea. But Arteta forgets Willian had Costa, Morata, Giroud and Abraham to connect with his crosses, whereas none of our attackers is good in the air

  7. McLovin says:

    He got a fat salary from us, he doesn’t need put in a shift anymore since his career is close to end.

  8. Reggie says:

    He has contributed nothing, i was happy we got him but now i think he is just another waste of space.

  9. Durand says:

    Methinks Wenger was onto something regarding contracts for players over 30. Willian shouldn’t be keeping out Martinelli, let’s see how Arteta responds now that he’s fit.

  10. Grandad says:

    While I was a fan of Willian in his prime, I was against buying him as it was clear to me that he was in decline.He has been very ineffective for us so far, but to be entirely fair I thought he had a decent second half against Everton.As he is now an Arsenal player, I hope he gains in confidence in the weeks ahead and produces the goods on the pitch.At his best he was a very fine player, rather like our highest paid employee who shall remain nameless.

    1. Mark says:

      We didnt buy Willian..

      1. jon fox says:

        Mark, Only technically not! We buy his excessive wages each week for three long years That is spending considerable money for practically nothing in return.

    2. lcw says:

      Our highest paid employee who shall remain nameless proved to be more effective and productive more than Willian will ever be.

      The truth speaks for itself. The 2 players do not even belong to the same stratosphere.

      However it is difficult for some to swallow their pride and admit their mistake.

  11. Mohsan says:

    Zero …nothing at all. Useless and Chelsea discard who got a retirement package by Edu pension scheme. Which seems like is open for all retiring Brazilian started with Luiz then Willian we almost got Oscar as well next year it will be Marcelo.

    1. Kev82 says:

      Haha edu will be sounding out Juliano Belletti and Alex next 😆

      1. Ahmad73 says:

        I hope he gets the boot along with Farteta. FFS what’s Kroenke waiting for?

        1. Kev82 says:

          Waiting until we are in the championship by the looks of it.

    2. ken1945 says:

      Mohsan, what you and many others are forgetting however, is that Chelsea actually offered Willian a two year deal.
      That was officially confirmed by both Chelsea and the player… so let’s remember this fact.

      Of course, that doesn’t negate our incredible decision to offer a reported £200,0000 a week, with a three year contract to a 32 year old player… something that the club would not have done under AW.
      Remember Dennis Bergkamp and his one year deal? If it was good enough for him, it should still be in the club’s rules today.

      As for his performances to date, just like other attacking creators under MA, there doesn’t seem to be any way this type of player can flourish… unlike at chelsea.

      So, why on earth did we sign him in the first place?

  12. David Braithwaite says:

    Many of the comments are reactionary and over-critical. Also, the idea that any player over the age of 30 has no further use is ridiculous.
    Willian is not the worst player in this squad; he needs to be used correctly. He looks worse partly because of the weaknesses elsewhere in the squad particularly central midfield.

    1. Kev82 says:

      If Willian was 45 and playing amazing I wouldn’t be the slightest bit critical so it’s not an age factor for me it’s a performance factor.

    2. Reggie says:

      I judge a player on what i see, i see someone strolling and not doing what he was bought for, driving at and taking on the opposition.

    3. Loose Cannon says:

      There you are coming to the point, he looks bad because of others in team, what an excuse.
      Similar to the O Fan Club, their golden boy looks bad because of the forwards,
      So Leno looks bad because of his CBs
      Mustafi, Holding, Socrates, Luiz look bad because of Xhaka/Elneny
      Bellerin looks bad because of Pepe
      Kolasina looks bad because of ???
      Xhaka / Elneny look bad because of Cabellos /Willok
      Cabellos/Willok look bad because of Laca/Eddie/Pepe
      Laca/eddie/Pepe look bad because the goal posts are either too small or short or the opposing goalkeepers’ calibers are like Neuer/ Jan Oblak/Allison.
      Next excuse please?

  13. Kev82 says:

    Nothing he’s lazy and disinterested and is just useless along with edu and Arteta and what’s extremely worrying is that the board are fully behind Arteta! Unai Emery must be wondering how he was sacked when Arteta has Arsenal in a relegation scrap and they are singing his praises!

    1. Sue says:

      Are you watching Villa, Kev? Not the return Big Sam was hoping for….

      1. Kev82 says:

        Yeah I know Sue down to 10 men I shouldn’t be even watching football and man united playing free flowing football and sweeping aside Leeds only in my dreams can I see us doing that 😩

        1. Sue says:

          How long will it take us to score 6 (!) goals??

  14. Ayo says:

    Willian was a bad move and will always be. Though I don’t like Chelsea, he was a frustrating player to watch. He can have a couple of average moments in a game. I knew something is wrong with Arsenal mgt going for a player like Willian.

  15. jon fox says:

    Scratching my head hard and thinking very deeply I can think of just ONE good thing . He may, just may, persuade the powers that be NEVER AGAIN to offer huge wages on a long term contract, even on a free transfer, to any more over thirty washed up rejects from our rivals.
    Other than that remote possibility , NOT A SINGLE BENEFIT TO US.
    A huge mistake and we must move him on ,IF we possibly can. Somehow!! HE IS NOT INTRESTED IN OU CLUB. ONLY IN HIS WAGE AND THAT IS SEEN CLEARLY EVERY GAME HE APPEARS(I cannot call it “playing” as he can’t even be bothered to run!)

    1. Goonster says:

      It’s a joke. Luiz, Willian, even Auba, Ozil etc. These guys were handed massive 3 year contracts even if they were 30 or already over 30 years old.

      1. Loose Cannon says:

        True, so happy that Ozil’s contract is winding up in 6 months time, but AFC has ensured that those above mentioned players too will be “honoring their contracts” and we get fans keep crying for the next 2 – 3 years.
        Next who? Xhaka on a 3 year contract with 300K/week? or Oscar?

    2. Gogo says:

      We never learn remember. We will make these kind of mistake forever. Sometimes I think the people involved in these deals get some cuts to defraud the club. Just like the Raul incidence with Pepe purchase. That’s smells like a by fraud.

  16. RFrancis says:

    We were at fault in the first place for signing this ageing player – on an astronomical wage, who was clearly on the decline – expecting him to perform like a stud in a physically demanding, high pressing style of play.

  17. Wolfgang says:

    The football landscape has changed. Once upon a time Arsenal could get top players like Henry at an affordable price but not anymore.
    This is what you will get with the self sustaining model.
    This is what happens when you gofor castoffs.
    At the rate Arsenal are performing, its
    relegation form. Clubs that have been
    demoted pale in comparison shd the
    unthinkable happen.
    Il may or may not happen but the
    warning signs are there

    1. Wayne says:

      I will once again reiterate that unless Arsenal stops being the Dump yard for these old players that have passed their best, the club will only continue to slump. These experience players regard these late contract with Arsenal as their pension fund and nothing else. In their prime,they never considered playing for Arsenal, so why do Arsenal accept them on even a free transfer? That’s one of the biggest mistake that Arsenal have been making over and over again. The huge wages these old players get at Arsenal is a burden ,especially when it comes to trying to sell them if they are not performing and then Arsenal is stuck. Edu and the board have not learned from their previous experiences. To compete with the top teams, Arsenal must first stop buying their rejects /retirees period. Arsenal must be ruthless , ambitious and forward thinking , making wise and long term investment on younger quality players ,who, would cost less in wages and easier to sell most of the time. I was always against buying Willian, because, firstly, the position where he plays was well stocked with wingers like Saka, Martinelli, Pepe and Nelson. These young talents need game time to gain experience and develop their potential and Willian joining Arsenal would only sniff their opportunities and stifle that process. Arsenal must show some trust and confidence in the young talents and give them the opportunity to play. Experience is gained from playing games and learning from past mistakes. Another problem, why pay such huge wages to Ceballos on loan for no return. In the two loan spells combined, how many assists did he provide and how many goals has he scored in the premier league ? I think of him as another waste of funds and time. Are the youngsters from the academy ,Willock or Pepe that bad? Honesty, both Willian and Ceballos need a break from Arsenal premier league squad, because they are NOT GOOD ENOUGH. They are neither creative nor defensive.

  18. BT gnr/bdk says:

    No +ves at all. even if he do perform good in the coming matches, it will not have any importance for Arsenal’s long term shape.

  19. Goonster says:

    What a disaster Willian has been so far. I was not happy and comfortable Arsenal signing him but I had to give Arteta the benefit of the doubt.

    We now have a pile on of proper deadweights on massive wages at Arsenal. This is what we also get for being cheap. Buying rundown semi retiring players because they are cheaper and available.

    And even Arteta is turning out to be a cheap alternative that our board wanted.

    Wht a joke.

  20. Shakir says:

    I think he is a very good player if used correctly.His game is direct like saka and he can pick a cross,good on 1v1.He is also a set piece specialist.
    I have already said this if hes given a bit freedom he can be quite vital in what he brings.

  21. BT gnr/bdk says:

    hi gotanidea. i think he does not help Arsenal with the qualities you mentioned. on his weaknesses you stated, i think, it is better to add the fact that he is wasting the balls he recieves from his mates at a crucial point. spurs and everton games are a good example. he shoots crucial balls in the wrong direction, nodern players do not waste such balls??! besides he doesnt take the ball correctly from the wing, for example he was standing on the moving ball he pushes yesterday and fell on the ground.

    1. gotanidea says:

      Hi Guns N’ Roses? My only concerns with him are:

      – His anticipation/ reaction time when receiving and retrieving the ball is slow
      – He’s not fast enough to be a winger, hence he’s rarely able to get past the opponents on the right wing

      Apart from those, his tactical awareness, crosses and close control are excellent. So shifting him to the CAM position could be worth it, if Arteta still wants to use 4-2-3-1

  22. Goonster says:

    Leicester are fighting for the EPL title once again. They have become a very stable PL club.
    And they did not spend,

    £70 million on Pepe
    £60 million on Auba
    £50 million Laca
    £40 million on Ozil
    £35 million on Mustafi
    £30 million on Xhaka
    £45 million on Partey
    £35 million on Gabriel
    £30 million on Saliba etc

    What mismanagement of transfer funds..
    😞

    1. Defund The Media says:

      Partey gabs I have no problem with, and if saliba was in the squad I wouldnt either but gods knows what’s going on there 🤷‍♂️

    2. Wiggy says:

      Willian, Luiz, Pepe all poor and shady deals.
      Edu and Vinai the cricketer should be sacked for this…

    3. Joe. S says:

      Goonster, the 40 million for Ozil,seems like excellent value considering the number of FA cups, and goal assists he contributed to in his first four years. But point taken,money has been spent extremely badly.

      1. Kedar says:

        Yes and in this circumstances we can’t blame Kronke for not spending money

      2. Goonster says:

        @joe.
        I have to disagree on the Ozil issue. £40 million on him was a waste for what he has contributed to our club.
        In our first FA CUP final against Hull, he was one of the poorest players on the pitch together with Podolski. Offered absolutely nothing all game apart from strolling around after 20 minutes like he had just finished running a 5 hour marathon. Was nonexistent all game like he is come to be known in the majority of serious big matches.

        He was never MOTM in any of our FA CUP wins. There were always players ahead of him. He has been carried by his teammates for the majority of his time here.

        Ozil has ever gotten more than 10 assists once in his all Arsenal career, first half of 2015/16 = 19 assists.
        That’s that. All the other seasons he has averaged about 8 assists from the possible 30 or so games per season.

        For about 5 seasons he has struggled to even make more than 5 assists per season.

        For these last 4 or so seasons he has struggled to eve make more than 2 assists a season.

        Spending £42 million, £150,000 a week and then for 3 seasons spending £350,000 a week plus the £8 million bonus for poor stats and performances like he has served us might be excellent value for you but in real life that is bad value for money..

        We all have different opinions of course and can interpret them how we see them.
        😊

  23. Kev82 says:

    Big Sam out 😆

      1. Kev82 says:

        Dean Smith showing how its done Sue 😄

    1. Wiggy says:

      Big Sam to Arsenal..

  24. Wenger91 says:

    Nothing the Ozil would add to the team!

  25. Armoury says:

    Imagine selling Mkhitaryan so as to buy Willian. It’s hilarious. Mkhitaryan is far much better than Willian. Anyway, I haven’t seen anything special about Willian even when he still playing for Chelsea

  26. Sue says:

    I can’t believe 14 games in and we’re still waiting for him to get off the mark!

    1. Goonster says:

      This was such a bad signing. Arteta signing the likes of Mari, Cedri and Willian made me nervous but I was willing to give him a chance as a new manager.
      But those signings unnerved me to be honest. Going for deadweights like that had my alarm bells going off but had to compromise and give Arteta the benefit of the doubt.

      1. Sue says:

        Always remember Loose Cannon saying to me “We replace our deadwood with super deadwood”

  27. HG says:

    let him first touch the ball properly for 10 seconds than we talk about contribution … he should cancel his contract and go.. we pay him for watching the match

  28. Stewart Macintosh says:

    Sad reality is, there really aren’t a lot of choices for the squad.

    Leno is worse than before injury and makes Martinez decision look bad (still some hope on that one though)

    Gabriel has been a good addition but he needs help

    Holding and Luiz have bad games and some decent games – Holding would be a good extra. Chambers and Mustafi don’t make the cut, although I would give Chambers a try if he is fit.

    Bellerin is making more mistakes than before, but I do think his speed is returning. Tierney works hard but he hasn’t been a world beater either. Cedric doesn’t seem to enter equation. AMN is a fill in at the back but he does ok – his versatility makes him worth keeping

    Ah the midfield. Granit is Granit, Ceballos isn’t very good, Elneny is reverting to his previous poor form (after a couple of good games to be fair) and Partey gets injured almost as soon as he arrives.
    Saka is here sometimes and he shows promise – he actually thinks about moving forward. Nelson and Willock don’t seem ready for EPL but neither do the others. Why Smith Rowe doesn’t get a chance is beyond me.

    And up front – I give them a bit of a break because the middle is so poor but….Auba is in a huge funk and now injured. Laca tries to work hard but hasn’t done much. Willian is awful. Eddie is not playing well at all and seems to be going backwards. Pepe is better than Willian but is awful. Martinelli is coming back from injury and I really hope that his form improves.

    So we need to replace just about everybody, try to stay in Europe and avoid relegation. Should be interesting…

    1. Stewart Macintosh says:

      meant to say Martinelli’s form stays high as before injury…

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