It is safe to say that the gamble Arsenal took on Willian hasn’t paid off. The Brazilian was signed on a three-year deal in the summer, and apart from his debut display, he has barely had a positive impact.
The former Chelsea man has dropped down the pecking order now. He is no longer the first choice, but Mikel Arteta is trying incredibly hard to give him minutes just so that he gains some confidence.
However, that doesn’t seem to be happening. As harsh as it is to say, Willian just doesn’t seem interested. His body language is poor, his approach in the final third is lethargic and his decision making has been woeful.
He looks nothing like the player he once was with Chelsea and his performance against Leeds United on Sunday truly summed it up.
Willian’s stats vs Leeds United
Willian replaced Emile Smith Rowe in the 62nd minute. The Englishman barely put a foot wrong as long as he was on the pitch, and all the Brazilian had to do was stick to basics and see out the game.
That didn’t quite happen.
In his 28 minutes on the pitch, Willian had 12 touches of the ball and he lost possession six times. (SofaScore) That really is frustrating to watch – surely even for Arteta whose trust clearly isn’t being repaid.
To put that into comparison, Smith Rowe lost the ball just five times when he was on the pitch. The kid is 20 years old and barely has any experience at the top level, but he is still faring better than a two-time Premier League champion.
Most Arsenal fans have sadly lost faith in Willian now. Many feel that Arteta using him over the likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe is really hurting the club, and it is difficult to argue against that.