Mikel Arteta has lauded Willian’s performance in Arsenal’s impressive 3-1 win at Leicester City, insisting that the attacker was not happy with the situation he found himself in at the Emirates – in comments reported by Football London.
Willian has had a tough time since joining the Gunners in the summer. It is easy to forget that he actually started the Premier League campaign with a man of the match-worthy display at Fulham.
However, between the opening day and Sunday’s clash, he had contributed just one assist. And he is still awaiting his first goal for Arsenal.
No player has come in for more criticism this season. But the signs have been slightly more positive lately.
He made an impact in the Europa League on Thursday. And he followed that up with a superb performance at the King Power Stadium at the weekend.
The Brazilian produced a sumptuous free-kick for David Luiz’s equaliser after Arsenal had gone a goal down. He also played a crucial role in their third goal.
And following the game, Arteta suggested that Willian deserves huge credit for fighting his way back into the fold.
“Yeah he was very good,” he said, as reported by Football London. “We’ve seen that in training over the last few weeks. I think he’s revealing himself, he’s not accepting the situation.
“I think he was the player who changed the game against Benfica in the last few moments when he came on. And today I think he was terrific.”
TBR View: Arteta will be vindicated if Willian’s form is a sign of what is to come
The faith Arteta showed in Willian seemed to baffle many as Arsenal struggled for form. It certainly seemed that he was dropped a lot later than he should have been.
However, perhaps it would be fair to say that Arteta’s faith in him will be vindicated if Willian kicks on from here.
Of course, the 32-year-old has previously proved that he is a good player. However, something appeared to not be right at the Emirates.
Many were confused by Arteta keeping him in the team. But perhaps the reasons Arteta had such belief in him are about to become apparent in the coming weeks.