Speaking ahead of this week’s clash with Slavia Prague, Mikel Arteta believes Brazilian winger Willian can be ‘crucial’ to the team’s results in the run-in.
Willian has had an indifferent first season with the club. Since arriving from Chelsea last summer, his performances have been inconsistent and he has, thus far, failed to show the levels he did with the Blues.
But the experienced Brazilian has maintained the backing of Mikel Arteta throughout the campaign. And speaking in his pre-match presser this afternoon, the Arsenal boss believes Willian can be a big player in the coming weeks.
“I think we can reach a higher performance level because his potential is so big. He needs the contribution to the team and the team to be stable in order to provide what he needs to express himself on the pitch,” Arteta said.
“It’s true that in recent weeks we’ve seen a much better version of him and his contribution when he is playing has been really positive. So it’s going to be crucial, his form, for the performance of the team in the last two months.”
The Gunners remain firmly in contention to win the Europa League, while in the Premier League, they need a strong finish to ensure they at least finish close to the European spots.
Amazingly, Willian has yet to score this season. He has, however, added seven assists and will be desperate to get on the scoresheet.
TBR View: Willian is a class act but needs to have more good days
At the end of the day, the winger is on big money and should be doing more than he has been. Yes, lately he has improved a tad but Willian was brought in to help win things and so far, he’s not panned out.
He is a big character though and will want to prove himself. And with just a few months of the season to go, he has the perfect chance to do just that.