The manager of Arsenal football club, Mikel Arteta has heap praises on Willian, saying the Brazilian winger has started producing after his performance in the Europa League match against Benfica on Thursday.
In the second leg of the Europa League round of 32 match, Mikel Arteta introduced Willian into the game in the 63rd minute when the scoreline was 2-1 in favor of Benfica.
The introduction of Willian into the match changed the game positively for Arsenal. Within 4 minutes, the 32-year-old Brazilian right-winger assisted Kieran Tierney to score the equalizing goal.
Late in the game, the club’s talisman, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made it three for Arsenal which was enough for the North London club to scale through to the next round of the competition.
Most Arsenal fans have always thought that Willian does not worth the three years contract Arsenal gave him when his contract with Chelsea expired last summer. Their criticism of the football star was as a result of his inconsistent performance at Arsenal since the commencement of the 2020-2021 season which has earned him 18 league games without a goal.
Ahead of Arsenal’s Premier League match against in-form Leicester City, the coach of the Gunners, Mikel Arteta stressed that the Brazilian winger who joined Arsenal last summer from Chelsea has not been able to meet up with expectation.
He noted that everyone at the club especially him as the coach of the club likes the personality of Willian and hopes that the 32-year-old Brazilian star will continue to do more for the club.
“He is a player who we all like,” Arteta said of Willian. “His team-mates like him and we were expecting many more things from him since he joined but for many different reasons he hasn’t found his best performances.
“But hopefully Thursday’s performance is going to give him the platform and belief that he is a really important player – he is a player I really like and I did a lot to bring him in and hopefully he can still give us more.
“I was really pleased with Willian on Thursday and he totally deserves some credit because of the way he trains every day and he is trying.
“In games now you can see that he is starting to produce what we think he can do for the team so everyone has to step up and create big moments in games because the front players, in the end, have to be the ones that decide the game for us.”
Arsenal are expected to beat Leicester City to climb higher on the Premier League table today, February 28. They will visit Kings Power Stadium to play their 26th league match of the season at 13:00.
Leicester City are currently sitting on the 3rd spot on the league table with 49 points in 25 games. While Arsenal are sitting on the 11th spot on the league table with 34 points in 25 games, 15 points away from their today’s opponent.
If Arsenal win today’s game, they are likely to climb to as high as the 9th spot pending the outcome of the matches involving the teams above them. On the other hand, if the game goes in favor of Leicester City, it could take them to the second spot pending the outcome of the match involving second-placed Manchester United and 5th placed Chelsea.