Willian is being linked with a move away this summer but the Brazilian has given an interview which doesn’t seem like he has any intention of going just yet as he discusses adapting to Arsenal’s different training style.

Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League - Emirates Stadium Arsenal s Willian celebrates scoring their side s third goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday May 9, 2021. Copyright: Richard Heathcote
Arsenal v West Bromwich Albion – Premier League – Emirates Stadium Arsenal s Willian celebrates scoring their side s third goal of the game during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Sunday May 9, 2021. Copyright: Richard Heathcote

Speaking to Lance in Brazil, Willian revealed a few things, including how he still wants to play at the World Cup next year, what he said to Gabriel Martinelli about taking free kicks, and what the main differences are between training at Chelsea and Arsenal.

First up, the World Cup. The 32-year-old, who has 70 caps and nine international goals, hasn’t played for his country since the end of 2019 but he’s hopeful he can get into their squad for the World Cup. Willian does admit that his form needs to improve before that happens.

“My goal is to return to the Brazilian team and play the next World Cup,” Willian said. “I know that the moment is not appropriate for my return because of the difficult season I had, but I want to resume good football, regularity, be productive with goals and assists, as it was at Chelsea, and represent Brazil.”

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (R) celebrates with Arsenal's Brazilian midfielder Willian (L) on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Arsenal at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on February 28, 2021. - Arsenal won the game 3-1. (Photo by Rui Vieira / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta (R) celebrates with Arsenal’s Brazilian midfielder Willian (L) on the pitch after the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Arsenal at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on February 28, 2021. – Arsenal won the game 3-1. (Photo by Rui Vieira / POOL / AFP)

Next, he spoke about the differences at Arsenal and Chelsea. “Each coach has his own way of working and each club has a philosophy of play,” he said. “I was used to a more physical, intense training system.

“At Arsenal, with Arteta, we work much more on the tactical issue, aiming and opponent. We must respect and I must adapt to this new model.”

That last line is quite telling – “I must adapt to this new model” doesn’t sound like someone thinking of leaving.

He continued, “I had a good start and I never had many injuries, I always showed regularity, but I was out on three occasions this year. That’s why I couldn’t be Willian of Chelsea. I hope to return to my high level and a bad season does not define my qualities and my potential. I still want to win titles.”

Then, he was asked about being an example for young players, like Gabriel Martinelli.

“Martinelli is a boy, but we always talk,” Willian said. “A few weeks ago, I was taking freek kicks and he asked me, “How do you do it like that? Do you take free kicks like corner kicks?” And I said that he needed to start taking free kicks, because he is a striker and needs to score goals and it was really cool, because nobody had ever asked me about it.”

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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.