Arsenal have confirmed the signing of free agent Willian following his departure from Premier League rivals Chelsea.
The Brazilian winger, who turned 32 last Sunday, has signed a three-year deal with Mikel Arteta’s side.
He announced his departure from Chelsea last week after seven years at Stamford Bridge following the expiration of his contract.
Willian missed the recent FA Cup final against Arsenal, with Blues head coach Frank Lampard citing an injury sustained in training ahead of the match as the cause of his absence.
Reports have indicated Chelsea were willing to offer Willian a two-year contract but that he was holding out for one more season, which Arsenal have offered.
The 2019-20 campaign was Willian’s most productive at Stamford Bridge in terms of goal involvements in the Premier League.
Opta statistics show he totalled 16 involvements, consisting of nine goals, his best return for the club, and seven assists.
His overall Premier League record for Chelsea shows Willian scored 37 goals and had 33 assists in 234 appearances, starting 168 of those games.
Willian joins Arsenal at a pivotal point in the reign of Arteta, with the Spanish head coach looking to establish his own team at Emirates Stadium after taking over from Unai Emery last December.
A disappointing eighth-place finish in the Premier League was tempered by a 2-1 victory over Chelsea in the FA Cup final, which secured a place in next season’s Europa League.
Willian last month secured a place in the record books when he became the first player to have scored a Premier League goal in every month of the year.
With the 2019-20 season extended into June and July due to the coronavirus pandemic, Willian achieved the improbable feat when he converted a first-half penalty against West Ham. – AP.
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