Willian has long been linked with a move to Arsenal following the expiry of his contract with Chelsea this summer. The announcement today that he has finally signed for the Gunners, despite interest from elsewhere, felt inevitable.

However, the details making their way into the media suggest the Gunners could be paying as much as £220,000 per week for his services. It is typical to see some inflation of a player’s wages when moving on a Bosman. However, this feels hugely inflated for a 32-year old who hasn’t played a lot of football in recent years.

Willian to Arsenal: His Chelsea Years

Breakdown of Willian's attacking numbers from his last five seasons at Chelsea before his proposed move to Arsenal. Data as of Thu, 13 August 2020.
Breakdown of Willian’s attacking numbers from his last five seasons at Chelsea before his move to Arsenal. Data as of Thu, 13 August 2020.

In terms of combined xA and xG in open-play, last season was his best since 2016/17. His xGChain shows he is highly involved in Chelsea‘s attacks when he has played. This would suggest that despite being in his twilight years, he isn’t showing signs of slowing down yet. Perhaps here the lack of football in recent seasons will actually have helped him in this regard?

Arsenal fans will be hoping this signing is similar to that of James Milner to Liverpool. A player who was undervalued and underutilized, mainly due to Chelsea having many riches already in his position. Someone who will bring a wealth of leadership and experience. To set the tone for the younger generation of players coming through.

A glossary of all the terms used in this article and throughout the site as a whole is available here. Also, click on any image in the article for a full-size high definition version.

All data used in our articles is sourced from Understat, FBRef, Sofascore, Transfermarkt and 538.

Leave a Reply