LONDON, UK – Thanks to their summer transfer window swoop of former RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner for £47.5 million and the solid form of American import Christian Pulisic, could Brazilian forward Willian be planning on defecting over to longtime bitter rival, Arsenal.
Chelsea, currently fourth on the Premier League table at 55 points, are trying to hold off Manchester United for the final slot of England’s Champions League qualifying for next season. Willian, is considered one of the craftiest and most talented strikers in the EPL. Thanks to his quality pace, ability to create and find the net, the Blues find themselves in a bit of a conundrum as to what to do with the 31-year-old playmaker, as he is a big target of both Arsenal and Tottenham.
In 32 apps with the Blues, Willian has tallied nine goals for Chelsea, and has evolved into a critical part of manager Frank Lampard’s side as an attacking midfielder working in tandem with Pulisic and former Gunner forward, Olivier Giroud.
However, with Werner now in the fold and Chelsea’s other big-time new signee in Moroccan midfielder, Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, Willian could be the odd man out at Stanford Bridge.
If Willian were to make the switch to Arsenal, he could join a Gunners side in a quasi-rebuild as Mikel Arteta, following the dismissal of Unai Emery, will have to decide on the fate of Mesut Ozil, who is looking more and more like he is playing his last few games at the Emirates, choosing between Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexander Lacazette as both of their contracts are up after this campaign and developing promising teen star Bukayo Saka.
The question that remains to be answered is if a player of Willian’s stature and talent want to go to a side that has a history of being cheap in paying transfer targets and will not be in either Champions League or Europa. If he is willing to see the potential at Emirates and can buy into Arteta’s system in North London, he would be a huge get for Arsenal and a big setback for the Blues in allowing one of their most talented player go to such a hated rival in the Gunners.