The Brazilian international, Willian, has signed a three-year deal to join the English Premier League side, Arsenal, ahead of the 2020/21 season, the club announced Friday.
The 32-year-old forward in the last seven seasons played with Arsenal’s city rivals, Chelsea, making more than 600 club appearances in a career spanning 13 seasons.
Throughout his seven years at Chelsea, he won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the Europa League. He made 339 appearances, with 63 goals and 56 assists in that time.
“I believe he’s a player that can really make a difference for us,” Mikel Arteta said. “We have been monitoring him for the past few months, we had a clear intention to strengthen in the attacking midfielder and the winger positions [and] he is a player that gives us a lot of versatility, he can play in three or four different positions. He has the experience of everything in the football world but to still have the ambition to come here and contribute to bring the club where it belongs. I have been really impressed with all the talks I have had with him and how much he wanted to come.”
Arsenal’s technical director Edu added: “I know him very well, since a long time ago because we’ve been working together for the Brazilian national team and of course I was following him because he played for another club. He has a lot of fantastic attributes as a person, as a football player of course, his character. I’m 100 per cent sure that everybody in the dressing room, the fans, myself and Mikel will enjoy having Willian in our side.“
Willian will wear the number 12 shirt.
As stated on the Arsenal website, the deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes which many believe is just a formality.
Petr Cech, David Luiz, William Gallas are some of the big names that have left Chelsea in times past to play for Arsenal.