Arsenal: Why signing Willian on a free transfer makes no sense

Willian, Chelsea (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Willian, Chelsea (Photo by Chloe Knott - Danehouse/Getty Images) /

Rumour has it, Arsenal is the frontrunners to sign Willian from Chelsea for free. Here’s why the deal would make no sense from the Gunners’ point of view.

We all love a bargain, right? Nothing feels more scandalous than picking up something much cheaper than its retail price. Unfortunately, though, Arsenal fans have grown sick of these signings as they seem to be an annoyingly recurring theme since Stan Kroenke took charge.

And it would seem another free transfer is beginning to take shape in the form of Willian. According to the Metro, Arsenal is now leading the race to sign the Chelsea forward, as they have jumped ahead of Liverpool.

Let me be the first to tell you, I like Willian. He’s a great player when he wants to be (which, unfortunately, is not consistently enough). However, I don’t think he would be a great fit for Arsenal and, if anything, he would only disorientate the frontline.

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See, Willian is a very direct attacker. He likes to play in the faces of his opposing defenders and his dribbling abilities allow him to drive forward. That said, he works best in an attacking system that plays on the front foot and engages in quick attacking movements.

Do you see the problem here? Everything I’ve just said about Willian’s playing style is everything that opposes how the Gunners setup. They are not direct in their attacks, and would rather be more fluid as they look to slowly create openings to unlock the opposing defence.

They are not the type of team, at all, to charge forward with menace. Some can pull it of, others can’t. Unfortunately, Arsenal can’t.

We have seen a similar pattern in Nicolas Pepe; the Ivorian international is a direct player, hence it has taken him time to settle into the Arsenal XI. However, the difference between Pepe and Willian is clear. Pepe is 24 with plenty of time to adapt, Willian is 31 and nearing the end of his career.

Consequently, Arsenal should move on to look at other options. It’s bound to be a confusing transfer market so they mustn’t put too much time and resources into players that wouldn’t guarantee the same rewards.

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Do you think Arsenal should sign Willian this summer?