Willian left the pitch in tears earlier this week as scans show the former Arsenal man is set for a spell on the sidelines.

Willian crying
Willian crying

Willian hasn’t been having the greatest of times back in Brazil since leaving Arsenal in the summer.

Taking a few games to get up to full fitness after being excluded from the Arsenal squad, Willian has managed a total of 260 minutes, so far, and that number won’t be changing for a while.

After missing the game against Sport Recife on 9 October with a muscular problem, Willian started on Thursday against Fluminese but lasted only nine minutes before leaving the pitch in tears.

The problem? A grade II strain in his left thigh that is expected to keep him out for the next five weeks, at least.

“Whether he was fit for 90 minutes, we didn’t know,” said Corinthians manager and former Arsenal man, Sylvinho.

“It’s a construction period, these athletes are not machines. Those who have arrived need a period of adaptation. Willian has been away for a long time, so we’re going very carefully.”

Speaking at the start of September, Willian told media in Brazil he wasn’t happy at Arsenal which makes the feeling mutual.

Arsenal's Brazilian midfielder Willian (L) shakes hands with Arsenal's Spanish first-team manager Mikel Arteta (R) after coming off substituted during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Arsenal at Craven Cottage in London on September 12, 2020. (Photo by PAUL CHILDS / POOL / AFP)
Arsenal’s Brazilian midfielder Willian (L) shakes hands with Arsenal’s Spanish first-team manager Mikel Arteta (R) after coming off substituted during the English Premier League football match between Fulham and Arsenal at Craven Cottage in London on September 12, 2020. (Photo by PAUL CHILDS / POOL / AFP)

On the face of it, signing Willian on a free wasn’t a bad idea.

He arrived in peak physical condition with extensive Premier League experience winning trophies and the knowledge that Chelsea had wanted to keep him for another two years.

Few of us expected him to stink up the place the way he did, but, for whatever reason, there was no tune to be found in Willian’s repertoire at Arsenal and, with every appearance, he seemed to get worse as fans got more angry.

Who could be happy in the midst of that?

“I really thought a lot, together with my family and close people. Unfortunately, my time at Arsenal was not good, I wasn’t happy at the club”, Willian said.

“I don’t need to go into details, but I wasn’t happy and I thought that returning to Brazil was the best option. I studied some other opportunities, but I wanted to return to Corinthians, to my home, to be close to my family. It’s the club that projected me to the world, revealed me. The right time to come back was this.”

Arsenal and Willian came to an agreement that saw his contract torn up and the 33-year-old allowed to leave for free.

Willian signed for Corinthians immediately upon his release.

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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.