What Willian Brings to Arsenal Football Club
This morning, Arsenal announced the signing of former Chelsea attacker, Willian Borges da Silva, on the three-year deal for free of course. I shared my thoughts about Willian in a previous post but I will like to focus on the attributes the Brazilian sensation brings to Arsenal football club.
Little or No Adaptation Period
Those that saw the exploits of Nicolas Pepe last season can attest to the fact that adaptation is critical for any footballer joining a new club, as challenges such as learning the language, adapting to change in tactical management among others take center stage. Arsenal will face no such issues with with Willian as he spent seven years in London with the Gunners rivals, Chelsea, excelling admirably in the West London outfit. This means that Arsenal fans can expect Willian to hit the ground running from the get-go with the new campaign resuming in just 28 days.
Well Publicized Versatility
Every football manager hopes to have a player or two that can feature in several positions to allow him make tactical changes before and during matches. Arsenal is in luck as Willian is such a player that is adept in the left and right wings as well as the attacking central midfield position. The player himself declared that he is available to compete in any position with the sole aim of helping the team excel,
“I come to help in every position. I can play on the right, I can play in the middle, I can play on the left side as well. So I want to help – in any position where they put me to play, I will try to do my best.”
Excellent Injury Record
In a career that spanned for 14 years, Willian has made 618 appearances and scored 103 goals. In his seven years at Chelsea, the lowest amount of appearances Willian made was 41, and he made 34 league appearances in that campaign. If you check his injury history at transfermarkt, you will see that Willian was injured just three times in his entire career, so Arsenal will be assured that they have a player that will feature consistently for them in the coming seasons.
Dead Ball Specialist
Every team needs that player with a proven track record of set piece taking as it offers another perspective in a teams quest for goals. Last season, Arsenal scored a handful of free kicks with the most notable being Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal against Aston Villa and Pepe’s double salvo against Victoria Guimaraes. However, Willian is a seasoned dead ball professional and will certainly earn the trust of his teammates to take a dead ball when the chance arrives in a favorable position. He’s also adept in taking corner kicks and swinging in dead balls from deep lying positions which will be an important asset for Arsenal in the forthcoming season.
Trophy Winning Experience
Willian enjoyed a distinguished football career winning six league titles (four at Shakhtar Donetsk and two at Chelsea), seven domestic cups (five in Ukraine and two in England) as well as two Europa League titles with Shakhtar and Chelsea. On the international scene, has won the 2007 Youth Championships with Brazil U-20s and the 2019 Copa America, so its fair to say that he has won his fair share of trophies. This will help with his mentality, and he has stated his intentions to carry it into this stint with Arsenal.
Much Needed Creativity
Whether he is cutting in from the flanks or making his short bursts past his opponents, Arsenal can count on Willian to provide that much needed creativity lacking in the side in recent campaigns. Mesut Ozil is the player tasked with that responsibility but he has not been featuring on the side. Sky Sports did an analysis on Willian’s creative numbers last season and it was very impressive to say the least. He created 76 chances, completed 51 crosses, notched up seven assists and scored nine goals. The likes of Aubameyang, Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette will lick their lips at the prospect of working with such a creative player in the club’s ranks.
Willian’s entire career has seen him score 103 goals in 618 games. 63 of those goals appeared in Chelsea colors from 339 appearances. In his last five seasons with Chelsea, Willian scored 11, 8, 13, 12 and 11 goals respectively in all competitions, which are very decent numbers from an attacking midfielder. Arsenal will be expecting the same from him and we expect him to deliver.
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