Arsenal’s £35m transfer gamble starting to make sense after Burnley draw

Burnley v Arsenal: Match in pictures

When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters.Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer.Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights.You can unsubscribe at any time.

Willian has come in for a lot of criticism this season after joining Arsenal on a bumper three-year deal over the summer. The winger left Chelsea after failing to agree terms on a new contract and signed a lucrative deal with the Gunners instead.

The Daily Mail claim that Willian is earning £220,000-a-week, a figure which makes him one of Arsenal’s best paid players.

The report adds that bonuses in Willian’s deal, including his signing-on fee and loyalty bonuses, could see him earn a total of £35m for the duration of the contract.

After an impressive debut against Fulham, where he assisted two of Arsenal’s goals in a 3-0 win, Willian’s performance levels dropped considerably.

The 32-year-old managed just one more assist in 24 appearances and lost his place in the starting XI.

JUST IN: Balogun’s Arsenal exit closer as Gunners offer deal to Hale End rival

As a result of his poor performances and big wages, Willian came in for criticism from fans and pundits.

Speaking last month, manager Mikel Arteta admitted that the criticism was not unfair, saying: “I don’t say it’s unfair because expectations are really high in terms of the goals he can score, the assists he can create.

“You expect him to be in the starting lineup, so it is normal that people write things about him.

“What he is doing, the way he is training, the way he is working and the way he is pushing to give everything at the team, is what I demand. Whether he is more or less successful in the game is another matter. It will come, with the quality he has.”

Premier League fans could return this season as new plans drawn up
Arsenal came ‘very close’ to signing Dortmund duo and Chelsea star
Arsenal’s Lacazette replacement plans in ruins as Leicester near deal

Since Arteta’s comments, Willian has started to improve and he earned a second consecutive Premier League start in the 1-1 draw against Burnley.

The winger made an immediate impact, running at the Burnley defence and laying the ball off to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who scored the opener after just five minutes.

The assist was Willian’s third in as many games and means he now has more assists in the league than any other Arsenal player this season.

Speaking after Willian’s set up Kieran Tierney’s equaliser against Benfica in the Europa League, Arteta said he was hopeful that the performance would “give him the platform and belief that he is a really important player”.

“I was really pleased with Willian on Thursday,” Arteta said. “He totally deserves some credit because of the way he trains every day and he is trying.

“In games now you can see that he is starting to produce what we think he can do for the team so everyone has to step up and create big moments in games, because the front players in the end have to be the ones that decide the game for us.

“His team-mates like him and we were expecting many more things from him since he joined but for many different reasons he hasn’t found his best performances.

“But hopefully Thursday’s performance is going to give him the platform and belief that he is a really important player – he is a player I really like and I did a lot to bring him in and hopefully he can still give us more.”

Since that game against Benfica, Willian has provided assists in the 3-1 win over Leicester and now the 1-1 draw with Burnley, suggesting he is starting to become the “really important player” that Arteta signed him to be.

Source: Read Full Article