Arsenal flop expected to make hasty exit this summer

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 14: Willian of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on February 14, 2021 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 Adam Davy - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 14: Willian of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on February 14, 2021 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 Adam Davy - Pool/Getty Images)

Following the news about David Luiz’s planned departure, Willian is to be the second former Chelsea player to leave Arsenal this summer.

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

Fabrizio Romano reports that Willian is expected to leave Arsenal this summer, after David Luiz’s decision not to renew his contract with the club earlier this week.

Romano adds that there’s interest in Willian from European clubs and from the MLS, with Inter Miami potentially in the mix after they tried to sign him last summer. Arsenal are now just waiting on formal offers to come in.

This isn’t a huge shock, as The Athletic named Willian as one of five senior Arsenal players that want to leave the club this summer. Luiz was another of the five, along with Bernd Leno, Granit Xhaka, and Hector Bellerin.

Football.London had claimed earlier this week that both Luiz and Willian were “happy at Arsenal and not intent on leaving the club this summer”. But that report was dashed when the Luiz news came out, so the Willian information is also now questionable.

Willian has made 37 appearances for Arsenal, scoring one goal and assisting seven. The assist count isn’t awful, with only Bukayo Saka matching his total for Mikel Arteta’s side this season, but the failure to score a goal until May certainly hurt the team.

It was also a matter of consistency. Willian got two assists on his debut, one in late November, then four in four consecutive games in late February/early March. In the periods between those rare bursts, he didn’t offer much at all.

The short version is that it just hasn’t worked out so far. If Willian and Arsenal feel the best option is to cut ties and move on, they aren’t going to encounter much opposition.