Willian has an uncertain future at Arsenal this summer after struggling in his debut season in North London. The 33-year-old left Chelsea for the Gunners in mid-August of 2020 but hasn’t lived up to expectations.
Willian had a hand in 125 goals from 339 games at Chelsea () but has scored just once in 37 matches for Arsenal. And the fact he’s taking home more money than all but two of his teammates (£192k-per-week/£10m-a-year) means he must be sold.
The Brazilian international appears to want out too, according to Globo Esporte (h/t Sport Witness), but it remains to be seen where he’ll end up. Willian has spoken with Arsenal director Edu Gaspar amid interest from Corinthians of the Brazilian Serie A, but his wages are a sticking point.
Although Arsenal have Willian contracted until 2023, they’re desperate to be rid of him. Mikel Arteta hasn’t named the wide-man in the matchday squad for any of Arsenal’s games this season, so the feeling is mutual with the player. But selling him is proving to be difficult unless he lowers his salary demands.
The Gunners don’t have Champions League football this season and are therefore taking a financial hit that will be exacerbated if they can’t trim the wage bill. Willian is their third-highest earner and is surplus to requirements, so it’s imperative that he’s move on before the transfer window shuts.
Arsenal have made a mess of their transfer policy in recent years. Bringing in another ageing player that Chelsea didn’t want has backfired and now they figurately and literally paying the price.
Willian wants out of the Emirates Stadium and could be open to a return to Brazil, but he needs to play ball at the negotiating table – Corinthians don’t have a player on money close to him.
It’s up in the air whether Willian is moved on in time.