Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta currently has a whole load of problems to deal with – not least the form of summer signing Willian. Many Arsenal fans were excited by the free transfer for the former Chelsea star but it has not gone as planned so far. And Arteta must be running out of patience with the Brazilian.
Willian provided three assists on his Arsenal debut to help the Gunners beat newly-promoted Fulham on the opening day of the Premier League season.
But things have only headed in one direction for the 32-year-old since.
Just like Arsenal in general, Willian has been way off it for far too long now.
He did provide the assist for Gabriel Magalhaes’ goal in Sunday’s 2-1 defeat to Wolves at the Emirates, his first goal involvement since the match at Craven Cottage.
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But in truth, it was another uninspiring performance from the experienced winger.
To be fair, Willian is only one of a number of players who have underperformed for Arteta.
Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has looked a shadow of himself since signing his new contract in September.
Full-backs Hector Bellerin and Kieran Tierney struggled to cope with Wolves’ attacking threat on Sunday, while midfielders Dani Ceballos and Granit Xhaka continue to provide next to nothing in the middle of the park.
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Alexandre Lacazette has been low on confidence for several weeks now and goals in general are hard to come by for the Gunners.
But after so much hope and expectation from Willian, he is arguably the most disappointing player so far this season.
Last term, he scored nine goals and contributed seven assists in 36 Premier League matches for Chelsea.
But he would do well now to even register half of those figures in his debut campaign with Arsenal.
Willian’s speciality is direct free kicks, but he even wasted one of those on Sunday when in a great position to test Rui Patricio.
The bad news for Arsenal is that there are still two-and-half-years left on Willian’s contract, which nearly takes him to the age of 35.
He is one of the Gunners’ top earners, behind Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil.
But if Arsenal’s aren’t careful, they could be left with another situation like Ozil’s, with a player on high wages not contributing on the pitch.
Arteta has kept his faith with Willian but a third straight home league defeat could prompt changes, with Reiss Nelson pushing for a start ahead of this weekend’s trip to north London rivals Tottenham.
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