…Willian joins his Brazilian compatriot and ex-Chelsea defender, David Luiz at Arsenal
FA Cup Champions, Arsenal have begun the process of fortifying their attacking department for next season by signing Brazil international Willian on a three-year deal following his exit from Chelsea.
Willian who has been linked with offers from Barcelona and Inter Miami was wooed by the Gunners, as his contract at Chelsea expired after their Champions League tie with Bayern Munich.
The 32-year former Chelsea winger made 47 appearances for West London side in all competitions last season and finished in brilliant form, with four Premier League goals after the restart taking his tally for the season to nine.
“I decided [to join] because Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world,” Willian said. “They have a new project with Mikel Arteta.
“I think this club deserves to shine again and I want to be a part of this project – to be a part of the Arsenal family is amazing. I’m very happy to do that.
“I come to try to win trophies, because this club deserves to win again, and I think you have to do the best as possible to win every game. I always train hard and go on the pitch giving 100 per cent to help this team to win games and to win titles as well.”
Read also: Chelsea’s Willian, Arsenal’s Luiz and why losing your most experienced player isn’t best policy
During his seven-year spell at Stamford Bridge, Willian won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the Europa League.
While reacting to Willian’s coming to the Emirates, Arsenal’s manager, Mikel Arteta said, “I believe he’s a player that can really make a difference for us.”
“We have been monitoring him for the past few months, we had a clear intention to strengthen in the attacking midfielder and the winger positions [and] he is a player that gives us a lot of versatility, he can play in three or four different positions.
“He has the experience of everything in the football world but to still have the ambition to come here and contribute to bring the club where it belongs. I have been really impressed with all the talks I have had with him and how much he wanted to come.”
Willian who was given jersey number 12 at Arsenal remains a key part of Brazil’s national squad, having made 70 appearances since making his debut in 2011.
Arsenal technical director Edu, who also epitomized Brazil, said he knew Willian “very well”.
“He has a lot of fantastic attributes as a person, as a football player of course, his character,” said Edu.
“I’m 100 per cent sure that everybody in the dressing room, the fans, myself and Mikel will enjoy having Willian in our side.”