The father of Arsenal star Willian has effectively signed the death knell on the star’s career at Emirates Stadium with a strongly-worded admission over the player’s frustrations.
The 33-year-old has no future at the Emirates Stadium after being told he is not part of Mikel Arteta’s plans. He joined the Gunners last summer following seven seasons with London rivals Chelsea. But despite being a mainstay of the Blues side over 339 games, he has failed to hit the heights for Arsenal.
The Brazil international made only 16 starts among 25 Premier League appearances and scored just one goal. While never prolific for the west Londoners, he did net 63 times, including 37 in the league.
Niggling injuries hampered his progress last term but he was unable to reproduce his Chelsea form. The South American was linked with an exit as soon as the season ended in May.
Indeed, it emerged on Monday evening that Willian was closing on a return back to his homeland with Corinthians. Willian started his career there, before moving to Europe, first with Shakhtar Donetsk and then Anzhi Makhachkala.
Willian has two years left on his Arsenal deal worth £100,000 a week. As such, he’ll need to take a dramatic pay-cut to secure the return to Corinthians.
As such, it was reported that Willian was still hoping to play on in Europe should another suitor materialise.
However, speaking to Arena SBT (via Sport Witness), the player’s father has suggested the move to Corinthians now looks his best option. .
“There are things that money doesn’t buy. Playing for Corinthians is priceless. Today, they could afford. Corinthians are cleaning up the squad and two, three players who leave already pay for it. And because William would come for free,” he said.
“He’s really not happy, otherwise he wouldn’t want to leave. He has proposals from Europe, but it’s no secret that we want him to end his career at Corinthians. Today, everything depends on Corinthians making the proposal and Arsenal releasing him.
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“If it depended on my taste, he’d go back to Corinthians, wear the 10! But he’s a professional, and he knows about his career.”
In addition an article on Globo Esporte claims Willian is ‘irritated’ by Arteta’s decision to freeze him out. Furthermore, a chat between Willian and Arsenal technical director Edu has convinced him to leave.
They say the chat ‘exposed a series of dissatisfactions with the club’s sports project that motivated him to ask to leave’.
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Arteta, meanwhile, has reportedly been given five games to save his job after Arsenal’s woeful start to the new Premier League season.
The Gunners suffered a humbling 2-0 defeat at top-flight new boys Brentford before losing by the same scoreline to a dominant Chelsea over the weekend. That has led to strong rumours that the Spaniard could be on the brink of the axe in north London.
Arteta has spent around £130million on new recruits this summer. However, his squad has so far not looked capable of challenging for a top-four spot.
To that end, the Daily Telegraph claims that the Emirates board are willing to give Arteta until October’s international break to keep his job.
If the slump continues then the Gunners will reportedly turn to Antonio Conte, who left Inter Milan at the end of last season.
The former Chelsea boss guided the San Siro club to the Serie A title before walking away because of the huge financial problems at the San Siro.