Arsenal director Edu opened up on the Willian situation after the player and the club mutually agreed to terminate his contract after just one season.
The Willian signing was supposed to inspire Arsenal’s attack and take them to the next level. Instead, he flopped, and his inconsistent form coincided with Arsenal’s bad run in the league. The winger signed on a free transfer from Chelsea after the Gunners offered him the three-year deal he desired.
After beginning brightly in an Arsenal shirt, Willian’s form tailed off and the Brazilian never really recovered. With a three-year deal on massive wages, the signing was criticised from many quarters, especially given the Brazilian failed to add quality to their attack.
However, the club and player decided to part ways mutually and terminated his contract in this window. Willian has since joined Corinthians and taken a massive pay cut. This decision from the player seemingly helps Arsenal save nearly a reported £20 million in expenditure.
Recently Willian’s agent Kia Joorabchain criticised Arsenal for how they handled the situation. However, Arsenal director Edu’s recent interview with Sky Sports sheds some light on what went inside the club with Willian.
"When we heard that, we made the decision that we did not want a player at the club who is not 100% comfortable…"
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) September 4, 2021
Edu explains, “The decision on Willian was to sign someone with experience of a lot of Premier League games and someone who could impact the team straight away.
“If you saw the first game of last season, away at Fulham, he started very well, and everyone thought ‘wow’. But a lot of different circumstances during the season, for the squad and for Willian as well, meant they were inconsistent. To be fair, every single player was inconsistent, and now we want to be more consistent.
“And then at the end of the season, I came to Willian and myself, and Mikel said:'”How are you? Because I want you to be much more consistent. What is happening? And then he mentioned to us that he wasn’t 100 per cent comfortable and when we heard that, we decided that we did not want a player at the club who is not 100 per cent comfortable or 10 per cent with the team.
“If not now, it’s my business to find the best solution. If it’s a mistake or not, it’s harder to say. You wouldn’t if our season had been better with everyone being more consistent. But the most important thing is we tried what we tried, we planned what we planned, and if it works or not, we have to find a solution.”