Former Chelsea superstar Willian has discussed the links with Barcelona before he joined Arsenal in the summer transfer window.
In an interview with FourFourTwo, Willian has opened up about the rumours linking him with a move to Barcelona in the summer transfer window. The former Chelsea winger joined Arsenal on a free transfer post the end of the 2019/20 season.
Willian enjoyed a reasonably successful seven-year spell at Chelsea, where he won five trophies in addition to making over 300 appearances. The Brazilian international’s time at Chelsea, though, came to an end this past summer, when he decided to leave them to join Arsenal on a free transfer.
Before making the switch to Arsenal, though, there were widespread rumours linking Willian with a move to Barcelona instead. In fact, there had been several instances over the course of his Chelsea stint that the 32-year-old was touted to be on the radar of Barcelona, only for a move to never materialise.
It now looks like joining Barcelona was never really on the cards for Willian, who has admitted in an interview with FourFourTwo that he was not really allured by the Barcelona name. Instead, he ended up leaving Chelsea for Arsenal because he was enticed by the Gunners’ project.
“There are always rumours, but I didn’t know about any other official offer. Indeed, there was a lot of talk about Barcelona for the past few seasons, but I wouldn’t have gone there just because they’re Barcelona. I wouldn’t go to any club without hearing about their targets and what they wanted from me.”
“It wouldn’t be nice to be there or anywhere else if you weren’t going to be a big part of the project and didn’t play much. Arsenal were the only club to show me a project that would fit with my ambitions, and they’re one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
In the interview, Willian has also heaped praise on Mikel Arteta, and it looks like Arteta’s presence might have been the key in him finalising his decision to join Arsenal. Now a regular in the north Londoners’ first-team setup, Willian will hope to fix the creative and goalscoring problems that have been plaguing the club. His performances will also hold the key if the said Arsenal project is to take off.