Willian isn’t currently fit to play, according to Mikel Arteta, hence his absence from the recent Arsenal squads in pre-season and the Premier League.
It’s now been a couple of weeks since Willian last made an Arsenal squad, featuring on the bench against Chelsea. The winger was absent against Tottenham Hotspur the following week, and Mikel Arteta said he wasn’t an option for selection on the day.
“He wasn’t available to play that game,” Arteta told Joao Castelo-Branco. “I don’t know [if he’ll leave], he’s our player. There’s a chance with any player in this market.”
It was the same story the next game, as Willian wasn’t involved in Arsenal’s Premier League opener against Brentford. This time, Arteta told Castelo-Branco “he was not fit to play”.
The interesting thing about this case is that Willian hasn’t been featuring in the Arsenal team news updates over the last couple of weeks.
The likes of Gabriel Magalhaes, Thomas Partey, and Eddie Nketiah have been listed multiple times during the period Willian has been out, but the medical team haven’t provided any update on Willian.
To be fair, the same is true for Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, and Rúnar Alex Rúnarsson, who were all left off the team news update despite the fact they were all unavailable for the Brentford game. But at least Arsenal posted a tweet on their situations pre-match.
In Willian’s case, there has been no official update, only the above quotes from Arteta. Perhaps that’s because it’s just a knock and the club didn’t expect him to be out for long, or maybe they’re keeping him away from the action to avoid injury amid a potential transfer.