Willian admits being left out at Arsenal was ‘the worst time’ of his career so far but says he’s ‘happy to be back’ after returning to form with four assists in five games for Mikel Arteta’s side
- Willian has revealed he faced ‘the worst time’ as a footballer recently at Arsenal
- The Brazilian moved across London last summer, leaving Chelsea for Arsenal
- He was a key player for Mikel Arteta at first but slipped down the pecking order
- Now having an impact again, Willian admits he is ‘happy to be back’ on top form
Arsenal star Willian has opened up on his slow start to life at the Emirates, revealing the period he was left out of the team was ‘the worst time that I think I lived’ as a professional footballer.
The Brazilian winger moved across London last summer, leaving Chelsea on a free transfer after seven years at Stamford Bridge before signing with the Gunners.
Willian started 12 of his first 14 Premier League games under Mikel Arteta but then found himself slipping down the pecking order over the festive period as Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe continued to impress.
Willian revealed he faced ‘the worst time’ as a footballer in the early part of his Arsenal career
The Brazilian winger signed for Mikel Arteta’s side after leaving Chelsea on a free transfer
But Willian has now provided four assists in his last five appearances across all competitions for the Gunners and has caught the eye in recent games.
And, during the international break, Willian has opened up on the struggles he faced since moving to Arsenal but hopes he is now coming out the other side.
‘It really was a very difficult start, apart from that first game against Fulham, where I had a good performance, I managed to make a good game,’ Willian said in an interview with ESPN Brazil.
‘Even after that game there were some games that we won, I even had a good game, but then we ended up getting a bad streak.
‘I also got a bad streak and I think my worst professional time to date, since I went up at Corinthians and was sold to Ukraine, then I arrived at Chelsea, without a doubt. This phase that passed now was the worst time that I think I lived as a professional.
‘Of course, when you live in a difficult moment, you get really upset and try to find solutions, a way to improve, try to help the team.
‘That’s what I’ve been doing all this time, I never stopped training, to work, to dedicate myself as much as possible.
Willian was out of Arteta’s team for much of the winter after slipping down the pecking order
He has registered four assists in his last four appearances after being given an opportunity
‘It took a little while to leave, but lately in the last games I’ve been playing well again, standing out with assists, playing well. So I’m happy to be back to find my good football.’
Despite his recent displays, Willian is still yet to score in 30 appearances for Arteta’s side, which has raised eyebrows due to his £220,000-per-week wages.
In a recent interview with UOL Esporte, Willian also admitted that he never wanted to leave Chelsea, but they refused to offer him a three-year contract.
‘It was difficult to make that decision,’ he explained.
‘Because… the rivalry between the two clubs is very big. It was well thought out… talking to my wife and even the agent many times.
‘I didn’t leave the club with a fight, I left the doors open. Everyone knew the conditions, I really wanted to stay.
‘We ended up not finding an agreement, I ended up asking for three years, Chelsea wanted to give two, and everyone knows this story. That’s why I ended up leaving.’