Arsenal have moved ahead of Liverpool in the pursuit of Chelsea superstar Willian, whose current contract expires at the end of the season.
According to Jorge Nicola, as relayed by Daily Mail, Arsenal are favourites to sign Willian this summer as the Chelsea star looks to make the next step in his career. His current contract expires at the end of the campaign, meaning the winger will be available for free in the upcoming summer transfer window.
Willian has been linked with a move to Arsenal and Liverpool. But, his desire to remain in London now puts the Gunners in the driving seat. They are also willing to offer the Brazilian, a multi-year contract, something Chelsea were not too keen on.
Willian’s potential arrival at Emirates could serve as a massive boost for Arsenal. The north London giants, despite boasting a talented attacking unit, have struggled with a lack of creative essence. Star attackers like Mesut Ozil, Nicolas Pepe and Reiss Nelson have all failed to make the desired impact.
As a result, the club has appeared way too over-reliant on the services of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, in terms of productivity. But, with the Gabonese international strongly being linked with a move away, Arsenal could be in huge trouble if they fail to sign a proper replacement.
While Willian might not be a direct replacement for Aubameyang, he can certainly bring a lot of experience to the table at the Emirates. He is, in fact, one of the most well-established wingers in the Premier League, having made 226 appearances in the English top-flight.
The Brazilian’s ability to provide dangerous crosses into the box, coupled with his link-up play means he could combine well with the likes of Ozil and Pepe, both of who are also quite good when it comes to one-touch football.
The ex-Anzhi winger would also become the second player to join Arsenal from Chelsea within a year, with David Luiz being the last player to do so. The defender, however, hasn’t fared all too well following his €8 million switch to Emirates and Arsenal fans will be hoping that Willian won’t follow the footsteps of his compatriot.
Speaking of Chelsea, they are braced for a major squad overhaul this summer as manager Frank Lampard looks to usher in a new era at Stamford Bridge. Willian’s departure will allow Christian Pulisic to gain a more prominent role in the side and presumably force the Blues to sign a new attacker. They have recently been linked with a move for Dries Mertens.