Premier League • England

‘I want to go’ – Arsenal flop makes damning new claim over summer exit

Willian Arsenal

Former Arsenal winger Willian has made a damning new claim over his time in north London.

Following a successful seven-year spell with Chelsea, the Brazilian joined Arsenal on a free transfer in August last year. Despite being the wrong side of 30, Arsenal gave him a huge contract worth £220,000 a week.

Willian could not replicate the success he had at Stamford Bridge, notching just one goal in 37 appearances for Mikel Arteta’s side.

The star had no intention of seeing out the rest of his contract and left for Corinthians in the summer.

Willian has since spoken about being unhappy with the Gunners, revealing that his time there was ‘a bit complicated’.

The two-time Premier League winner has now made a new claim, stating he wanted to leave Arsenal after just a matter of months.

During an interview with Rio Ferdinand, the 33-year-old said: “I was not happy, that’s why I didn’t perform. I don’t want to go into the details, but I wasn’t happy.

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“So, when I arrived there I was happy, from the beginning I was motivated, I wanted to do well, new club, new mates, new projects.

“After three months, I told my agent ‘please, I want to go’. I don’t want to speak bad about the club because it is a big club, has a big history in football, big players played there before it’s a big club – but it didn’t work, it was of course the most difficult time of my career.”

On ripping up the big-money contract, Willian added: “Yeah, it was big money that I gave up – money is not the most important thing in life, you need to be happy, to be getting pleasure and wake up and want to go to training.

“I wasn’t having that, so I said to myself, with my family and my wife ‘I cannot stay here, I am not happy here, I have to leave’.”

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Keown ‘wrong’ over Arsenal midfielder

Meanwhile, Arsenal legend Martin Keown admits he was wrong in his initial assessment of Martin Odegaard.

The attacking midfielder shone during the 4-1 win over Leeds, playing a part in most of his team’s goals.

While appearing on BBC Match of the Day, Keown said: “I will say that when he first came to the club, I was not his biggest fan. But I have to change that opinion now because he really is developing.

“You see that clever movement that he has to receive the ball, he was first-class in that Arsenal midfield.

“He’s growing in stature. His confidence is really high, the manager has backed him. For me he’s just getting better and better.”

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