It’s common knowledge that Arsenal don’t have the finances to compete with the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United. Instead, the FA Cup Champions will have to rely on swap deals, loan moves and free transfers to strengthen the squad this summer. The departure of several players may ease that burden, but the majority of this window will rely on Raul Sanllehi’s contacts in the game.
One of his closest football acquaintances is Kia Joorabchian, the man known as a super-agent in world football. Due to their close relation, Arsenal are in talks with several of Joorabchian’s clients, most notably Philippe Coutinho and Willian.
Reports broke yesterday that Willian had rejected a new 2-year contract from Chelsea, as he wants a contract length of 3 years minimum. The Gunners have offered him that and the Brazilian is set to become an Arsenal player this week.
Why Arsenal fans should be positive about new signing Willian
Squad Depth / Competition
If you look at the greatest Premier League teams in history, all of them had not only world-class starting XIs, but a top-quality squad to compliment. This current Arsenal squad is bursting with potential, one world-class player and a lot of deadwood – that’s why the club finished 8th this season. The addition of Willian brings a ready-made PL player with big-game experience to provide much-needed squad depth. His versatility across the wide positions will allow him to be shoehorned into any position the manager wants.
Assuming none of our attacking personnel leaves this summer, our first-choice front three will be the same – Willian’s arrival doesn’t change that. What his arrival means for Nicolas Pepe is that instead of Reiss Nelson coming off the bench to replace him, it will be Willian.
The Ivorian now has serious competition for his place in the team and sub-standard performance will no longer be tolerated. Competition breeds excellence and Willian’s presence in the squad will only improve the quality of Arsenal’s attacking play.
Mentor Young Players
With the signings of David Luiz, Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares, it’s become clear that Mikel Arteta values the presence of older players in the squad. He wants a balance of youthful exuberance and experienced know-how at Arsenal as he continues to shape the club in his image. Willian’s arrival continues to add to that philosophy, with Arteta recruiting players who can set an example for the youngsters.
Throughout his illustrious career, Willian has won 7 league titles, 8 domestic cups, 2 Europa Leagues and a Copa America. Whatever doubts fans may have about his ability, they cannot question his CV. The Brazilian’s experience of winning trophies will help breed a success-driven mentality at the Emirates, something Arteta is keen on.
Such a mentality will be a good example for the likes of Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka and Reiss Nelson to learn from. Like David Luiz, Willian could be a mentor to the youngsters in the squad, helping them to develop the right mentality alongside their immense talent.
Now admittedly, if Arsenal were to only sign Willian this summer, every fan would have the right to be upset. But if the Brazilian’s arrival is one of many and doesn’t take away funds from other areas in the squad that need strengthening, then it’s perfect.
To acquire the quality and experience of a player like Willian on a free is good business from the Gunners, especially in a market where transfer fees have never been more inflated. As it stands, Arsenal’s transfer business will be:
- Willian: Free
- Philippe Coutinho: 1-year loan
- Dani Ceballos: 1-year loan extension
- Malang Sarr: Free
- Thomas Partey: £43million
- Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang: new 3-year deal
Would you be happy with that? Because I would.