Arsenal technical director Edu Gaspar spoke to Sky Sports today about the problems Willian faced at the Emirates over the last 12 months.
The 33-year-old joined us from Chelsea on a free transfer last year. Fans didn’t really fancy him from the start, but Edu and Mikel Arteta were convinced that his quality and experience in the Premier League would help Arsenal.
Sadly, things didn’t work out for either party. Willian had a poor campaign and was heavily criticised. He eventually terminated his contract a few days ago and Edu has now explained how they came to that conclusion.
Edu: Willian told us he was uncomfortable
The Arsenal technical director said: “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 made the decision that we did not want a player at the club who is not 100 per cent comfortable or 10 per cent with the team.”
The Insider’s View:
It was clear that Willian had no future at Arsenal. He is undoubtedly an excellent player who has achieved incredible things in England. However, things just didn’t work out for him at the Emirates and he had to go.
Edu and Arteta’s stance is perfect. Arsenal don’t need players who aren’t comfortable. Credit to Willian for being honest in his meeting with the Arsenal bosses, and fair play to him for agreeing to rip up his contract and walk away.
Arsenal fans now have to move on. The Willian story is done, there’s no point in dwelling about his signing. We now have to look forward to what we’ve got, and if Edu’s words from his interview are anything to go by, he’s really happy with our current squad.