Willian thinks Mikel Arteta is heading for the top as a coach, showing a unique outlook on football during his time with Arsenal.
Speaking to the Daily Mail this week, Willian discussed his new club Arsenal, and his new coach Mikel Arteta. The former Chelsea winger traded Stamford Bridge for the Emirates Stadium over the summer, and he likes what he sees from his new club.
“The way he [Arteta] sees football is different,” Willian said. “The structure, the way he talks, his advice. It’s unique. He will be one of the best I think. He just wants me to be the same player I was at Chelsea. Take the ball and go one on one. Dribble, take shots.
“Arsenal have a great coach and a great chance to fight for titles. We can win the league. Maybe not this time, but next time. I’m motivated to have more success.”
Of course, Willian had the option to stay with Chelsea this summer. He was on a good run of form with the club, and they were offering him a two-year deal.
However, it’s clear that the 32-year-old was unhappy with the way his old team were approaching the contract issue. He felt Arsenal made a much more enthusiastic approach, as opposed to Chelsea refusing to negotiate anything more than those two years.
“They knew how much I wanted to stay,” Willian admitted. “I wanted to be a legend for the club. It was strange. But Arsenal was different. Every day they called my agent and wanted to meet or talk. They really wanted me to go there.
“That’s the difference. I see one club that made a lot of effort for me to go there, pushing a lot. And another who just said: ‘Two years or go’.”
The early weeks of the season certainly suggest Willian has the faith of his new manager. He’s already up to seven starts in all competitions, six of them in the Premier League. The only league game he missed was through injury.
But to earn the faith of the Arsenal fans, he needs to start scoring and assisting. After two assists and a shot leading to a goal in his first game against Fulham, he’s been drawing blanks in front of goal ever since.