Willian was substituted with an injury against Leeds United on Sunday, so what is his prognosis and when can we expect him back?

LEEDS, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 22: Willian of Arsenal takes a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement ahead of the Premier League match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road on November 22, 2020 in Leeds, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Paul Ellis - Pool/Getty Images)
LEEDS, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 22: Willian of Arsenal takes a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement ahead of the Premier League match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road on November 22, 2020 (Photo by Paul Ellis – Pool/Getty Images)

Willian was replaced by Reiss Nelson at halftime in Arsenal’s game against Leeds and we thought it might be a technical switch, what with Willian not being very good at present, but it seems as if it was a muscular issue.

The type that tend to follow long-haul trips on airplanes.

Speaking after the game, Arteta was quite vague about the whole thing, saying merely, “He was feeling something muscular and we had to take him off.”

With Nicolas Pepe’s three-match suspension, Bukayo Saka’s injury, and Gabriel Martinelli’s continued absence and Willian’s fitness could become a major worry, had he been contributing in any way on the pitch prior to his substitution.

His half against Leeds showed him with zero shots, 19 accurate passes, one cross, three duels won and four lost, and he was dispossessed twice (but won it back twice as well). He did manage to complete two dribbles, so that was nice.

An undefined muscular injury could mean anything from no time out at all to months on the sidelines, so we will just have to wait and see what the medics have to say ahead of our game against Molde on Thursday.

Wilian’s pre-Leeds United stats

Willian Arsenal stats do not make pretty reading after the former Chelsea man stunk up the place against Aston Villa in the Premier League, so let’s take a look at how he’s done since he arrived in the summer.

Willian Arsenal stats aren't good LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 08: Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa holds off Willian of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on November 08, 2020 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 08: Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa holds off Willian of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Aston Villa at Emirates Stadium on November 08, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Willian’s first competitive game for Arsenal saw him grab a number of assists against Fulham.

We were excited.

Here, we were told, was a player who, despite his advanced footballing years, was in peak physical fitness and wanted by Chelsea for another two years.

Sure, his wages and bonuses were expensive, but with no transfer fee and a wealth of experience, Willian would be worth it.

Right?

Since that game against Fulham, Willian hasn’t scored, assisted or even had a shot on target and for six league games after it, he didn’t have a shot at all.

He makes less than one tackle per game and has two interceptions all season. Plus, the majority of the time he has the ball, it goes backwards.

But sure, Mesut Ozil, football reasons, blah blah blah.

Willian Arsenal stats

  • Games played – 7
  • 90 minutes completed – 1
  • Minutes played – 512
  • Average minutes per game – 73
  • Goals – 0
  • Assists – 2
  • xG – 0.9
  • xA – 0.8
  • Shots – 5
  • Shots on target – 1
  • Shots on target % – 20
  • Shots per 90 minutes – 0.88
  • Shots on target per 90 minutes – 0.18
  • Average distance of shots – 13.6 yards
  • Shots from free kicks – 1
  • Shots from open play – 4
  • Total passes attempted – 252
  • Total passes completed – 201
  • Pass completion % – 79.8
  • Average passes per 90 minutes – 44
  • Total distance covered with passes – 3,568
  • How many of those yards were forward – 694
  • Short passes attempted – 114
  • Short passes completed – 102
  • Short pass completion % – 89.5
  • Medium passes attempted – 91
  • Medium passes completed – 76
  • Medium pass completion % – 83.5
  • Long passes attempted – 40
  • Long passes completed – 22
  • Long pass completion % – 55
  • Passes made under pressure from opponent – 2
  • Passes that led to a shot – 13
  • Attempted dribbles – 3
  • Successful dribbles – 2
  • Ball carried – 1,347 yards
  • Ball carried forward – 782 yards
  • Dispossessed – 7
  • Corners taken – 16
  • Inswinging – 9
  • Outswinging – 7
  • Straight – 0
  • Crosses – 11
  • Interceptions – 2
  • Tackles won – 3
  • Recoveries – 35
  • Aerial duels – 7
  • Won – 1 (14.3%)
  • Lost – 6
  • Offsides – 1
  • Fouls – 4
  • Fouled – 6
  • Yellow cards – 0
  • Red cards – 0

Source: FBREF.com

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.