On Thursday, news media around the world confirmed Arsenal’s capture of Brazilian winger, Willian as their look to re-inforce ahead of the upcoming 2020/2021 season.
Willian has spent the last seven years in West London, but with the expiration of his contract, negotiations broke down as the Samba winger demanded a three year contract, with Chelsea insisting on a two year deal.
READ ALSO: Breaking: Arsenal sign Willian
As the electrifying winger prepares for life in North London, Daily Times takes a look at what this could imply for Mikel Arteta’s side.
Following an impressive 2018/2019 season at LOSC Lille, Nicolas Pepe burst into the scene and became the target of several European heavyweights, Arsenal eventually broke the bank and captured the Ivorian’s signature, making him the club’s record signing at £72m. However, Pepe did not hit the ground running as he had a hugely underwhelming season in the just concluded 2019/2020 season, drawing widespread criticism from many Arsenal supporters. With Willian’s arrival, the end could be in sight as Arsenal may look to cut their loss and offload the 24 year old.
Again, Arsenal may be walking the tight rope of a huge gamble, particularly in view of the obvious chemistry recently established by the attacking trio of Aubameyang/Lacazette/Pepe connection, as evidenced in the FA Cup Final. Should Willian’s arrival spell the end for Pepe, there’s no telling how this will affect the Gunners’ attacking chemistry.
Speaking on yesterday’s White and Sawyer, former Arsenal star, Perry Groves said Willian is a better player to Nicolas Pepe
“It’s a no-brainer, an absolute no-brainer,” said former winger Groves, a two-time league champion with the Gunners.
“You say he’s 31, in my day that’s when you retired, but he could play until he’s 33 or 34 because modern players look after themselves.
“And if you look at his injury record, over the last seven years he’s averaged 33 or 34 games a season, so he’s not injury prone, he’s consistent, his attitude is very good and he’s proven in the Premier League, so the risk is low and the rewards could be very good.
“Is he better than what Arsenal have got at the moment in that position? I’d say yes. He’s experienced.”
The former Gunner said Pepe has the potential but still has a lot to learn
“Pepe has got great potential but he’s not on Willian’s level of consistently delivering.
“Willian would make Arsenal a stronger team, it’s a no-brainer” Groves added.
While the pundits continue to debate what this could imply for Arteta’s squad, the Sparniard will be brisking with confidence as he looks to add more high profile players ahead of next season’s mundial.