What does the signing of Willian say about Arsenal’s plans?

What does the Willian transfer mean for Arsenal? by Konstantin Mitov

Hello lovely Arsenal people. Straight to the elephant in the room – Willian. Just a day away from being 32, we are offering him a 3 year deal on 100 – 120k a week depending on which reports you read. Is this good business?

He is a good player, but it’s difficult to disregard the age factor. Chelsea were unwilling to give him 3 years even although he’s been good for them. If we do not skyrocket into the top 4, the cost might come too high.

Our attack already has Lacazette nearing his 30 and Auba 31, both on pretty high wages. No need to remind us of Ozil’s contract situation. This problem comes from a lack of structure at the higher levels.

During the Wenger days we refused to pay high wages and give players over 30 a longer deal. Something that was often criticized and sometimes with good reason. But swinging in the complete other direction hasn’t exactly worked out either.

What is the vision here? Rumours are we want to move to a 4-3-3 system, but we already have Pepe, on who we splashed 70 million pounds playing on the left, so where does Willian fit?

Does it mean we’re aiming to sell Laca?

And how does that pan out for the futures of Martinelli, Saka and Eddie? We are a team that doesn’t create enough chances and I’m just wondering if Willian is the signing to fix that issue. We also need more goals from sources outside of Aubameyang and William did net 11 goals and 9 assists, which would be very welcome if he can replicate that, but a 3 year deal seems too much for me at 32 for a winger.

For me there is a lack of structure at the board level. No clear vision of where we are heading. We’ve made a lot of impulse signings lately. Names to catch the eye with no idea of how they’ll fit our system.

We spent 50 million on Lacazette to get a 20 goals a season striker, because Giroud couldn’t do it, yet it didn’t really work out that way.

We signed Mhki, only to avoid losing Alexis for nothing even though we had Ozil and Ramsey in the same position.

We offered Ozil a ridiculous deal, which now restricts us from signing players that might actually play, just to avoid losing both him and Alexis. We spend 60 million on Aubameyang again to cover for the loss of Sanchez and it’s the only deal that has worked so far.

Oxlade-Chamberlain joined Liverpool for less money than what we offered him, because they have a better pull. They won all the major trophies in two years. If you are a player you dream of lifting them and you can sacrifice some of your already ridiculous wages to be part of a winning team.

Why would you join Arsenal at the moment? We have Aubameyang, two decent goalkeepers and a good head coach. We barely entered the Europa League and we won’t challenge for major honours next year, so basically we must offer better deals to sign players.

But I think Raul and Edu have some explaining to do. What’s our plan for the next 3 seasons? Lay out a roadmap of milestones we want to achieve and how we will do it, detailing every step of the way with careful planing.

We are reducing a bunch of staff, who may or may not have delivered the best of results, but if the reason is to cut costs, I can point to a lot of players who can be easily removed and it would save a ton of money. If we want to replace the scouting department because we have a better way of looking for players state it as it is, otherwise this feels like a swindle.

It seems like we are serving super agent Kia Joorabchain a bit too much. You see, Chelsea lost Hazard, yet they still managed the top 4. This season featured their weakest side I can remember for years, an inexperienced manager and yet they still are a team that remains dangerous. Southampton sell key players every year and change manager relatively quickly yet they survive in the league.

That’s because the club should be bigger than the players and nobody should be irreplaceable. Arsenal lost Henry and survived. It actually allowed younger players to thrive and take responsibility, but nowadays players have too much power at Arsenal, but unlike Chelsea players of the past, ours aren’t good enough to deliver under any head coach.

They sit on massive deals which make them difficult to move on, so any manager would have to deal with the likes of Mustafi, Kolasinac, Mikhi, and of course Ozil. It’s just sad to see AMN on our transfer list, just because the aforementioned players struck gold with a deal here.

I do not want to say that will be the case with Willian too, but the club better have some plan in place, because we can’t afford another season outside the Champions league…



  1. what willian and luiz bring is a winning mentality.
    they have seen it and done it and can set a benchmark for others.
    the problem with too many youngsters is that they start to believe their own propaganda.
    there is not too much wrong with Arsenal that another central defender as an alternative to Holding and another central midfielder as an alternative to Zhaka couldn’t resolve.
    My bet is they will improve on this year next.
    the issue is whether all the other teams might improve more.
    Whatever bodes well for entertainment next year.

  2. One important factor a lot of us including myself ignored and been ignoring is the fact that this isnt like before anymore. Players can play beyond 30 now, it’s all possible because of Science, Diet and Lifestyle now… Look at Ronaldo, still fit and insane, look at Auba, Look at Ibrahimovic, hell Sergio Aguro is 32 and still delivers constantly.. Need I mention Vardy and how he keeps delivering every year??
    Players can stay fit and healthy and play beyond their 30’s now unlike before, and I also ignored that fact.
    Willian seems like one of those players with strong fitness, I once told Sue I don’t have a problem with him as long as his salary isn’t above 130k, now it’s just 100k.
    No big deal if he stays fit, he will

    1. All the players you named are world class n way above William category. It’s like comparing a horse to a donkey…oh horse can run so why not use donkey in the Derby lol!. I don’t understand what an avg talent like Willian can do for us which he did not do at his peak. We are becoming a joke of club because we keep buying old player n handing them absurd contracts. If he was such a player why are Chelsea letting him go for free n not giving him what he wants.

      1. Eddie was not comparing the players abilities in terms of skill, Mohsan. He was stating a fact that players can play at a higher level than they used to. Please read carefully!

      2. @moshan yeah because he has to be every bit as good a footballer as the mentioned players to be as fit / athletic, laughing so hard at your logic , Mo Farah is fitter than all of them so is he a better footballer lol?

  3. He’s not a good player, but an excellent player.
    Is it good business? Yes it’s an excellent business. His wage demands are not exorbitant, and he’s not an injury prone player.
    The only negative some fans keep talking about is his age. Forget about the age stuff – it’s just numbers – he has at least 5 seasons left in him imho.

    1. Dumbest comment ever…forget about age??? Really. I think we have some one like you high up in Arsenal that’s why we keep making same stupid mistake…PC was way past his prime, DL was as well n we bought them look what trophies, winning mentality and medals they brought to club now we have another old age near retirement player…

      1. If we had the opportunity of getting C. Ronaldo or Ibrahimovic on 2yrs, Mohsan what would be you say??? Very important

  4. Wenger had the management experience and academic qualification to justify is actions of not offering long term contracts to players above 30yrs. Now the board has taken a coach who’s doing trial and error method to run Arsenal. Let Arteta give the board and its fans the taste of their own medicine

    1. Trial and error method?.
      Your experienced manager brought disruption to the team, caused toxicity between fans and players, fit us embarrassed in the UEL final after benching Leno for Cech in the final.. Talk about trial and error.
      The inexperienced manager just beat all top four teams this season under 8 month and won the club a trophy.
      I can’t remember when last Arsenal won against City, Liverpool, United, Chelsea in one single season.
      You’re just pushing your own agenda

      1. Your favourite manager finished 10th on the table. I hope it shows progress and knowledge of the game

        1. Thank you..At least we could still see the club afloat the league?
          Your favourite manager ruined everything and was sending us to relegation with the way he was losing and playing.
          You’re not even embarrassed your favourite manger got us conceding 21 shots against Watford.
          You’re not ashamed Man City, Liverpool embarrassed your favourite manager

          1. All I know is I enjoy watching football again now .I didn’t dislike emery but he was definitely not the right fit for us .

          2. Eddie mate, i’ve stopped replying to this Top gunner guy, hes’s trapped in his own little FM19 world.
            he chats a load of waffle 99% of the time.
            He fails to realize that HIS favourite manager is the reason we are so low in the league to start with

          3. Is Top Gunner actually a gunner or another fan in disguise? I know we all have the right to speak and opinions must be respected but the way he slates Arteta on a daily is disturbing. Even when the team does well, grab a trophy he still finds a way of bashing the new development. Oh well…

          1. No…let him keep pushing silly agendas and lies..
            I’m gkad most fans are not like him, else the toxicity would creep back into the fanbase

        2. We finished 10th, yes but MA didn’t start the season and was brought in when the club was on its knees. Without MA we may have been relegated.? I guess the AKB crew will always come out of the woodwork to stir up silly arguments. Just to be heard, eh?!

  5. Nice 1 Edie.. I don’t get it coz willian ain’t showing no sign of aging & he is good enof for free , with coutihno in n signing cerberos n maybe partey vs the cash he has and not to mention we’ve rejuvenated since arteta then its convenient for me say we have done well in the transfer
    And its of not even too much to have 3-4 wingers in team of old and young so saka especielly n martilleli will surely be getting enof action

  6. Chelsea fan here and just came across this article. Fair play for being very level headed. To give you our take on Willian, he’s been a very good player but also extremely hit and miss (even in his prime). Of his 11 goals this season 5 were penalties so he scored 6 in 47 games. Willian’s main attribute is carrying the ball into the final third and his work rate but more often than not his work rate is non existent. I think he’ll be a good squad player for you guys next season but agree that in 2 or 3 years time he really won’t be offering much.

    He’s one of those players who unless there is something major to play for, he doesn’t bother turning up and definitely not week in week out. Expect the odd very good performance then lots of mediocre ones.

    I also don’t fully understand your transfer plans. As you said, Willian seems like another stop gap signing for the next 12/18 months but with your team so far off it, surely you’re better off buying younger players to compete in 2/3 years time? Doesn’t really make sense from the outside looking in.

    1. @Jonny Arsenal fans live in a deluded world,a player who scored 63 goals in 363 apps is an excellent player?.They suffer from inferiority complex, they don’t trust their own but give them something with a Madrid label like ozil or Chelsea,man utd and they will forget saka , Gabriel, Nelson and laca are still with us! That’s why you hear this nonsense of bringing winning mentality and guiding young players lol.The fact is Mikel Arteta is getting everything wrong interms of signing he hasn’t signed a single decent player just old free frebies and Deadwoods. Further winning a cup is not reflcetion of the team greatness we finished 8th wigan won FA cup where are now.

      1. Saka? Nelson? Laca? How many goals and assists did they chip in with this season I forget? Willian contributed to more goals then all our players ( in all comps) bar auba and was 7th in the league for chances created.You think our current wingers are ready to carry this team next season? And you conviently forget we have NO MONEY. And your calling other fans deluded lol? Honestly mate with your bashing of the fans and MA go support someone else lol.

        1. @Rory Johnson

          Saka: 4 goals 10, assists (2300 minutes played)
          Nelson: 4 goals, 1 assist (887 minutes played)
          Laca: 12 goals, 4 assists (2264 minutes played)

          Willian: 11 goals, 8 assists (3135 minutes played)

          1. See take auba out of the team and the goals severely dry up AND we dont have a single player in the top 10 for chances created… Willian would have a lot more assists over here supplying auba rather than giroud and abraham also.

      2. Sounds like sour grapes from the Chelsea boys, willian has always been Chelsea’s most consistent player over the years his age is nothing to worry about he’ll bring energy experience and skill, I’d like to see him playing as an attacking midfielder

    2. Jonny, we already have young wingers tho, so the idea is to get one with experience. Saka, Martinelli (who Arteta may see as a CF) are our future. Nelson, is further behind than the other youth products but will still be given a chance to develop. We ARE actually linked with another young winger in Portugal, but I think it is a contract/money game that is being played.

  7. Diego Carlos signing is a big probability on transfermarkt 85%. Any body knows something about him, plays for Seville valued at 45m.

      1. I would be happy with either, as both are very good CB’s.
        Diego Carlos is the more experienced 27yo Brazilian 1.84m tall, plays in Spain with Sevilla FC, but would cost significantly more than Gabriel dos Santos Magalhaes, who is a younger 22yo Brazilian 1. 9m tall who plays for Lille OSC.

        1. Yeah Ozzie I’ll be happy with Gabriel too…
          Saw a video of Arteta training Saliva what to do with the ball from the CB position. I was impressed.
          Gabriel and Saliba would be good in years to come.
          If we get Gabriel, I’ll be okay with our defensive options as long as we ship out the deadwoods.. What we need to strengthen now is the midfield

    1. Very expensive. And seems we are in for Gabriel from Lille. That seems very certain actually. I hope ppl dont expect too much from these young CB’s tho. They will make mistakes. But have high ceillings.

  8. Do you really mean that Willian will contribute positively until he reaches 35yrs? Its the fans who’s gonna cry when Willian enjoys his salary from the bench

    1. He will be 34 when his contract ends on June 1st 2023 & we may sell/release him the summer before so his age isn’t an issue

  9. I think willian is a good signing for us. if his performance is decreased in the future, our young players like martnelli,saka and Nelson will be fit for first team

  10. If Willian was that good as most fans say, why did Chelsea refuse to give him 3yrs contract extension?

    1. Chelsea fan here. Willian is not as good as being made out but he’s still a decent player. This season has been his best year in about 4/5 seasons and he’s scored 6 in 47 (non penalties). When he’s up for it, he can be great there’s no hiding that. However, in general he’ll be up for it every 3/4 matches and the rest he’ll have you shouting at the TV. Not sure if you guys remember but when we played Barcelona in the CL a few years ago, Willian was unreal and the best player on the pitch, then didn’t put in a good performance for another 3 months. I think you need to be realistic with what you’re getting. Some people saying he’s excellent and his work rate are great etc is just not reality. He will be a very good squad player next year and will put in some very good performances every now and then but will definitely not be doing it every week. In 2/3 years time, that will get even less which is why Chelsea didn’t want to give him the contract and I haven’t heard one single chelsea fan saying we should have given him 3 years which tells you something. All in all, a decent signing on a free and will be a good stop gap player for a year or so.

      1. yeah, I have chelsea fan friends and this is essentially what they say, so sounds accurate. I think Willian can be a clutch player sometimes too which we also need for sure. It’s not a crazy amazing signing but it is decent to build our squad and to have a natural winger that knows what he is doing. Also takes pressure off of Pepe every game. It’s an okay signing. I just hope he puts in the same effort for Arsenal that he did with Chelsea. Cech and David Luiz, I am not confident in saying they did…

    2. Chelsea apparently have a policy that they only offer one year extensions to players over 30yo; however they think enough of Willan, that they went outside their policy and offered him 2 years extension.
      Willan was Chelsea’s second top scorer this season, looks after himself, doesn’t appear to have lost his pace and has an excellent virtually injury free record at Chelsea. As a Brazilian international with winning EPL experience, he offers mentoring of Arsenal’s younger forwards like Pepe, Martinelli and Nheketia.
      Worth a punt in my view given the financial situation, provided Arsenal still have funds for Thomas Partey and a CB

      1. By supporting rejects doesn’t take us anywhere. This is a scenario similar to that of Ozil

        1. OK im going to educate you here.
          When we signed Ozil from Madrid, he was the top playmaker in the world, THE WORLD dude.
          how is this the same or similar?
          Ozil also ( before the new contract ) was the best playmaker in the league, these are FACTS!
          His chances created and assists were second to none, then we sold his buddy to UTD and everything for Ozil dried up.
          So please enlighten me on how Ozil was a reject? Ronaldo was proper annoyed with his sale, that for me says it all

        2. his salary isn’t even close to Ozil’s so it cannot be compared. We have players like Sokratis on very good money lounging around and nobody has compared that to Ozil.

      2. @Ozziegunner stupid comment are we signing William as coach,as you’re speaking about him guiding young players? William is a Chelsea reject nothing to do with Chelsea policy.We also have policy against players over 30yrs.We are talking about a freebie here why are we the only top club interested!

        1. Might want to watch someone play before calling them a reject ,I can assure you willian would get into any top 6clubs teams .

          1. @ozzie true but that’s more a reflection of where we’re currently at as well. Previously he’d have be released without a second thought. Would also say the same about being our second top goalscorer. He didn’t exactly have any competition and played almost every game so that is to be expected really. @dan kit, he would get into other top 6 squads but not first XI. As I said before, he turns up every now and then and can be great on his day but definitely not every week and especially when he’s 32+. I think for Arsenal he’s probably just about worth it as a squad player for a year or two but I think it goes back to my main question as to what your actual plan is. With your current team being so far off, surely it made more sense to get a younger player and build for 2/3 years time, Willian as a stop gap isn’t going to change much. Anyway, just my two cents as someone who’s had a season ticket and watched Willian every week for the past few years. Might work out well, might not. Either way, he won’t be a game changer or a disaster so its a bit of a meh signing IMO.

          2. Lol because he comes from Chelsea he must be worldclass.This another Walcott .I know even Walcott hat better stats.Talk about a player with stats at your finger tips and distinguish between excellent and average. You lot amuse me

        2. Lord Denning, it is not I who is making “stupid comments.”
          If you think that having senior experienced players around to mentor younger up and comers is not positive for a club, it is obvious that you have never played competitive sport at any decent level.

    3. Because they have just signed Ziech & Werner, May sign Havertz & already have Pulisic & CHO & Mount so only offered 2 years, Lampard has said he doesn’t want him to go but respects his decision

    4. @Top Gunner They offered him two, but not three so they probably thought he was still good for at least two years.

      If we get two good years we can deal with the last one being bad.

  11. Willian is a decent addition.

    100k a week is not that much, and 3 year deal means we can sell him if needed. Surely he would move to ie. China when he hits 34-35?

  12. We want players who can improve the team. Not squad players like Willian. He was fortunate to play regularly the past season because Chelsea did not sign anyone

    1. You chat so much waffle its like being round a table in a school with kids.
      We have an ok squad right, just ok, we have a few exceptional players in Auba and KT, Pepe and we have some promising young players who broke through last season in Saka, Martinelli etc
      but the overall squad depth in quality is really poor.
      If we want to me successful we need to add more depth to the squad so we can compete on multiple fronts
      Over the last say 8 years we have flooded the squad with QUANTITY not QUALITY.
      You are the most deluded person to comment on here, you’re obviously a 10 year old playing fifa and not ever consider the bigger picture and are blinded by other peoples opinions.
      Very sheepish

      1. Well said Val ,
        You would think some fans didn’t actually support the team the confess to with the crap that come out of their mouths ,for some reason he defends Emery who could have took us down but slags off a manger who as just win us a FaCup in his 1st 6months ,find it very odd .
        And let’s not forget TOpgunner you don’t even know where we finished in the league this season ,that says it all

        1. Yup its embarrassing to our fanbase mate to the point we have chelsea fans hopping on our site to try and clear things up lol shameful

          1. Rory, fair play to Chelsea fans, if they come on justarsenal and add value to the discussion.
            In response to Dan kit, I defend Unai Emery when I consider the criticism is unfair and doesn’t take account of the obvious difficulties he had to face.
            I support Mikel Arteta and hope that unlike Emery, the Board and senior executive support him in the transfer window to get the players he wants to build a team to play the style he wants. If Edu and Arteta believe that Willan will bring value to Arsenal, who am I to argue.
            As for some so called trolls on bere: often it is better to stay silent and be thought a fool than speak or write and confirm the fact.

    2. We need a winger with experience. EPL experience espescially. Willian fits the bill. Not many others available like him. I agree its not an A+ signing, but it’s an okay one. For squad building he’s fine. It’s really the contract length that is the bummer. I trust Arteta to do use him well.

  13. Signing Willian or even Ronaldo and Messi instead of a high quality CB and a DM is the same big mistake Arsenal keeps making year after year.

    1. This is the first thing I expect Arsenal fans to point out. Last season, we had issues with our defense and our creativity was dwindling, but what did we do, we splashed out on a winger (Pepe).
      Now under a new coach and a different approach, our defensive frailties hasn’t disappeared, but we’re rushing to sign Willian (probably bcos he’s free).
      Willian is not the solution to our problems. Yes, he has pace and energy and may add some goals from the wings, thereby reducing the dependence on Auba, but we will still leak in goals and still lack creativity in the middle.
      We need to sort out the more important issues. Martinelli and Saka, can easily cover the wings.

      1. lcw and Namo, this is only a problem if Willan is the only signing and the defense (CB) and midfield (DM, box to box ACM) are neglected again.
        At the moment an opportunity has been taken and we have to wait and see what follows.

  14. I think it’s been quite clear what joke of a club we have become living on discards of other clubs. Chelsea go out n buy new young dynamic players n we go out n sign old past his peak player which they let go. If without investment we think we can get into CL again then along with our club the fans are deluded as well. Man U spent so much to get back into top teams and I bet they have a good shot at title next season if they manage to land snacho, city n Liverpool are already strong but are buying more better players. I think we run some sort of pension scheme for primer League player they invest with us and when they are near retirement age we buy them n give them absurd contracts….it’s all to cheat the tax man…Arsenal standard Life schemes

    1. Go support MU or chelsea since were such a “joke” … I can smell the plastic off you from here.

      1. “A joke of a club “
        But just won another fa cup 🤔
        Sure there is a long way to go ,but we are heading in the right direction .

        1. Dan, it all depends on how much Arsenal can build on the FA Cup win, by the Board and senior executive supporting Arteta to rebuild the playing squad in the deficient areas. Forwards and goal keeping are sorted, now Arsenal needs another quality CB, DM and box to box CAM.
          Unfortunately, there are so called Arsenal supporters on here who devalue winning the oldest most prestigious national knock out trophy in World football. Some clubs with hundred year histories have failed to make an FA Cup Final, let alone win it. As for players, what would they give for a winners medal?

    2. Why do you even support the club if you have to complain about everything this club does? If you hate arsenal fc then go support other clubs there’s so many
      to choose.

    3. how can you compare our transfer dealings and what you want the club to do with Chelsea?
      Chelsea had a year long transfer ban so they could spend that money this season and they raked in close to 90m by selling Hazard.
      They also had UCL football (this season), smashed us in the EL final and also they have an owner that backs his club in the transfer market and is there every single game to watch and support his club.
      Man utd are probably one of the largest marketable clubs in the world so having that is a massive factor in being able to bring in players with that money.

    4. Mohsan, you seem oblivious to the rational discussion which has occurred here, on the pros and cons of Willan. He is not a Chelsea cast off.

  15. It’s not what I prefer, but I get why we are going for him. EPL experienced. Big game experience, and decent numbers. Downside is he isnt consistent, might have the Chelsea-to-Arsenal Syndrome. But I trust Arteta and so fine… Took some coming around I admit but I do see the pros.

  16. If we signed Nathan Ake and Mings our defence would have been really solid! But Ake is now off to City. 😐

  17. Now we have a real problem and remember with the news about Coutinho arriving it will add more pressure on our current team.

    I hope whoever is leaving will understand the process and the coming players will appreciate this fact!

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