Willian signing is ‘unusual’ unless this star leaves Arsenal this summer

Football expert Gabriele Marcotti has claimed that the signing of Willian only makes sense if Alexandre Lacazette leaves Arsenal this summer.

The Brazilian is hotly tipped to sign at the Emirates in the coming week, having said his goodbyes to previous club Chelsea today, and is expected to sign a three-year deal worth around £100,000 per week.

His arrival could well see Arsenal field a front three with a combined age of 92 at the start of next season, with some hefty wages being outlaid for the trio, but football expert Marcotti believes Lacazette could make way following Willian’s signature.

“What I would be concerned about is that Arsenal are going to be in the same situation with Lacazette in a years’ time,” Marcotti told Sky Sports.

“He’s 29 years old and has one more year on his contract than Aubameyang.

“When you add in that Arsenal may sign Willian on a three-year deal, that is a lot of money to commit to attacking players who are or will be in their 30s.

“It is a ton of money to lay out. It seems strange to do that when Arsenal have youngsters like Saka, Martinelli and (Eddie) Nketiah, who they presumably want to grow.

“Mikel Arteta is on an upward trajectory, but he needs time, so it makes even less sense to put your resources in older players at this stage.

“It seems an odd and unusual approach the club are taking, unless they are planning to sell Lacazette, but we don’t know that.”

Laca has been one of a number of players to make huge improvements since working under Mikel Arteta, and one who I don’t think I’d be happy to see leave just yet, but his contract situation could well be an issue.

Arsenal will have to decide on whether to sign him down to a new deal, or cash-in inside the next 12 months, but allowing him to leave next summer would mean accepting a lower transfer fee for the striker.

Willian and Pepe will most likely have been given assurances over their playing time in order to have signed, and both are deserving of regular playing time also, which could well mean a return to playing centrally for Aubameyang, as well a reduced role if Laca did stay beyond the summer.

Given thought, Lacazette could well be the biggest casualty of a deal for Willian, although the Brazilian could well be drafted in to play as a AM in a 4-2-3-1 system like he has previously.

Will a deal for Willian raise doubt over the future of Lacazette?


Tags Alexandre Lacazette Willian


  1. I don’t want Laca to leave, but If he leaves MA should play Martinelli as a striker since Auba is best suited playing as a LW than thru the middle. I doubt having Willian means Lacas departure since Willians signing is to improve the creativity in the team. MA need to sort the circus in the midfield by signing at least 2 very good midfielders preferably AM and DM

    1. I don’t agree there my friend.
      The reason we play Auba on the left is to accommodate Laca.
      I’m sure Auba will drift left just like Henry use to but if we do make the signings that have been tipped (coutinho and Willian) then Auba will play as 9

      1. @Val When Laca did not play, did Auba play as a central striker? Or do you mean that Auba plays on the left to accomodate Nketia as well?

        Or could it mean that Auba actually is played on the left because that is where he is most useful for the team? 29 goals and some assist useful.

        How many more goals do you think Auba would score as a striker? And who can we play on the left that will score 25 or so goals from that position?

        1. I believe the reason is because Nketiah is better in the press than Saka at this moment in time.
          Only time will tell if either one of us is right on this as 1 we havent sold anyone yet and 2 we havent signed any of our targets.
          If we do sign both Willian and Coutinho then both will play as they offer more to team performance than Laca does.
          Both are very good at carrying the ball forward and operating between the lines.
          I truly believe that the front 4 of Pepe, Auba, PC and Willian will have more output than having Laca in the team.
          Both Laca and Nketiah pressed very well and were the first line of defense in the that regard to make up a little for our soft center.
          All of this will be irrelevant if we dont strengthen the MF area with Partey or someone of similar ilk

  2. It is potentially the other way around then the article suggests. Two to three seasons of an experienced front 3 with the youngsters learning their trade. But the time older players are ready to move the youngsters are consistently first team ready.

  3. Where will Pepe play if Willian arrives. 72m to warm the bench?Can he be converted to a conventional left winger like Sane or a centre forward? Do we really need Willi an or is it a case of yet again lining the pockets of his agent? Plenty of food for thought.I can perfectly understand why Marcotti has doubts as to the proposed deal particularly when we have three talented youngsters waiting in the wings.

    1. Williams plays as a left winger and attacking midfielder.. He played right wing for Chelsea to accommodate Hazard who was more effective at the left wing.

    2. 👍 Willan might play as an attacking midfielder, if Kia doesn’t get his way with Raul and unload Coutinho on Arsenal at great expense.

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