Willian must have been laughing when Arsenal offered the 32-year-old a three-year contract worth a reported £220,000-a-week last summer.
The Brazilian will still be picking up in excess of £200,000 even after his 35th birthday.
Financially, it didn’t look a great deal for Arsenal. But they knew Willian would be bringing seven years of Premier League experience with him having won the title twice with Chelsea during that time.
But the winger has struggled in north London since his free transfer move.
He’s made 23 appearances for the Gunners and is still yet to score for Mikel Arteta’s side this season. In fact, he’s become something of a scapegoat for the club’s struggles at times.
Following Arsenal’s latest defeat against Aston Villa last weekend, pundit Tony Cascarino dubbed his time at the club as ‘awful’.
“Willian was Aston Villa’s best player after he came for Arsenal on Saturday,” Cascarino told The Times.
“Willian has been awful.”
But has he really been ‘awful’? Well, zero goals and three assists in 35 matches suggests so.
However, a video has emerged on social media that actually claims he’s been ‘let down’ by his teammates at times this season.
The one minute, 36 second clip shows Willian creating numerous chances for his the likes of Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette only for him to miss glorious opportunities.
Take a look:
While a few additional assists may not have completely transformed the opinion of Arsenal fans, it most certainly would have given him more confidence. That bit of confidence may well have improved his performances and made a big difference to how people view his Arsenal career to date.
But has he been let down whilst picking up astronomical wages? Hmmm, we’re not sure on that one.
The bottom line is that Willian can perform better and, last month, he even admitted that himself.
“Well, it’s never easy changing club, especially after being somewhere for so long,” he wrote in Arsenal’s official programme, per Goal.
“I was at Chelsea for seven years before coming to Arsenal and then you have a new club, new people, a new philosophy.
“Things are different so I’m still adapting but I feel good, I have been learning a lot – a new footballing philosophy.
“Everyone is great here. I know I can improve a lot, and of course my performances on the pitch can be a lot better.”