Football League season is over and all attention will be diverted towards the transfer window. Arsenal’s manager, Mikael Arteta will be seeking to strengthen his squad in his first summer transfer window.
The Gunners have already confirmed the arrival of French prodigy, William Saliba who finally joined after a season long loan at Saint Ettiene. He is expected to bolster the Gunners’ defensive ranks. If reports making the rounds are anything to go by, the Gunners are leading the race for the bossman transfer of Brazilian attacker, Willian.
The Brazilian who is out of contract at Chelsea has been locked in protracted contract talks with the Blues but it seems talks have deadlocked over the length of the contract as Willian wants the security of a 3 yr deal while Chelsea are cautious and only offering the solace of a 2yr deal. The signs that Willian’s days at the Stamford Bridge was over was bold when he did not play any part in the Emirates FA Cup final loss at Wembley.
With the Chelsea door closed, Arsenal have opened theirs, offering him his desired 3 yr deal. It is looking increasingly likely that the new exchange between Chelsea and Arsenal would be in the North Londoners’ favour just as the last player that crossed the London divide, from West to North was and that is David Luiz in the wake of Laurent Koscielny’s exit from Arsenal.
What does the imminent arrival of Willian portends for Arsenal? The Brazilian would be an astute signing for Arsenal. He might be a “senior citizen” owing to his age but that does not in anyway demean his powers. Some young players have shown that being young does not mean you cannot get started and being old does not mean you have finished, Giroud is a prime example.
Willian is an astute winger who can play in a multiple of attacking positions; right wing, left wing , hole behind the striker. His arrival could see Aubamenyang, hopefully he extends his stay, moving to the center as against having to play on the left wing where he is less effective. Playing centrally means more chances and goals for the Gabonese striker.
As an experienced winger, his arrival might rob upcoming talents like Saka and Martinelli of regular first team football. In the absence of Martinelli, Saka had made the left wing his home but that joy might be short lived with the acquisition of Willian. That is no cause for worry because a team aspiring to win titles must have depth in terms of quality and quantity, and with the Gunners vying on four fronts next season (Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup and Capital One cup), there are more than enough games to go round.
In Willian, Arsenal will be gaining a deadball specialist and another speedstar. Willian was the incumbent penalty taker for Chelsea after the departure of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, he is also good with free kicks. This is certainly a plus to the Gunners. In the invincible era, Arsenal were credited with the relay squad of Henry, Bergkamp, Pires and Ljunberg, with the arrival of Willian, Arteta might be set for a relay trio of Aubamenyang, Willian and Pepe, that burst of speed would be good for counter attacking football which Arteta might deploy against top sides that boss possession like Manchester City and Liverpool.
Arsenal’s gain is definitely Chelsea’s loss but does his exit weaken the Blues seeing they have already signed the duo of Ziyech and Werner and lined up a move for Havertz. Highly talented players but the risk of coming into a new league and not hitting the ground running might be their undoing. If Chelsea’s new boys fail to fly out of the blocks, it might be a real early struggle for the Blues.
Since signing for Chelsea in 2013, this season Willian had his highest goal return in the Premier League, scoring 9 and assisting 7. Looks like Arsenal are landing someone that has come of age while Chelsea is losing that. Time will tell whether Chelsea will look down at their afro-haired Samba star at North London with a feeling of regret or indifference.