Willian’s nightmare spell takes fresh twist after Arsenal transfer admission


When Willian agreed to terminate his contract at Arsenal by mutual consent – waiving his right to millions of pounds in the process – the move to his boyhood club Corinthians looked like the perfect move for the Brazilian. The two-time Premier League winner managed only one goal in all competitions for the Gunners in his single season at the club and terminated his deal with two years remaining, ending his reign in England after switching Anzhi Makhachkala for Chelsea in 2013.

Having struggled to replicate the form he managed for Chelsea at Arsenal, Willian’s career has continued to decline in Brazil with Corinthians struggling. Despite winning two of their opening three Brazilian Serie A games, Corinthians find themselves under pressure following their elimination of the Paulista state championship at the semi-final stage by their most fierce rivals Sao Paulo in March.

In the Copa Libertadores, they are currently top of their group after defeating Deportivo Cali and Boca Juniors, but their bleak start was rounded up when they were on the wrong end of a surprise 2-0 defeat to Bolivian outfit Always Ready. Further misery was compounded last weekend when Palmeiras comfortably surpassed Timao 3-0 on Saturday, meaning Willian’s time back in his home nation has not reached the perfect heights he would have hoped for.

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Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Boca Juniors means, with three games remaining, Corinthians remain on target to progress to the next round of South American’s Champions League, but it’s not just been on-the-field where the problems have encountered. After fan violence has plagued Brazilian football for much of this season, Willian joined a small group of players to publicly condemn the situations that left players injured and hospitalised.

On his Instagram earlier this year, Willian said: “Nothing is happening to [the aggressors]. They just keep on doing this. The authorities tolerate this. I have learned one thing, that we cannot complain about what we tolerate. I am here to say we are outraged by this situation. We have to join together to combat violence in football.”

Unsurprisingly, Willian became a target after his comments and was forced to hire a security team to escort him to and from training sessions, whilst his daughter were forced into home-schooling over fears over their safety. Due to the threats, it has been reported that the 33-year-old seriously considered leaving the club and even the country in response to the threats he had received.

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Willian’s individual performances hasn’t helped the ongoing issue either. After having his return to Brazil delayed due to him failing to undergo the required Covid-19 quarantine period that consequently saw him be handed a two-week ban. When he did finally return to action, it took him seven games to register an assist before waiting until February for his first goal in the 3-0 win over Sao Bernardo-SP.

Speaking about his Arsenal exit recently on Rio Ferdinand’s Vibe with Five podcast, Willian admitted he knew that wanted to leave the Gunners after spending just three months in north London. “I was not happy, that’s why I didn’t perform. I don’t want to go into the details, but I wasn’t happy,” he said.

“So, when I arrived there I was happy, from the beginning I was motivated, I wanted to do well, new club, new mates, new projects. After three months, I told my agent ‘please, I want to go’.”

Source by Football London

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