Arsenal boss Arteta excited working with Willian | OneFootball
Arsenal boss Arteta excited working with Willian
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is excited to be working with Willian.
The Brazil midfielder arrived last month on a Bosman transfer from Chelsea.
"With all the conversations that I had with him, the thing that stood out is his ambition and his willingness to be the man who can drive this club forward as well, and be a big part of it," said Arteta. "He has very special qualities, he has experience in this league.
"If there is something with him it is that he is always available. He is a player that does not miss football matches. Last season at Chelsea you could see the amount of games that he played - even after coronavirus I think he is the one with more minutes there.
"I am not concerned [by his age] at all. We need a balance in this squad. We have some really young talent and they need some experienced players that they can just put their shirts on and start performing. This will evolve. It will be up to him and how much we help him with our environment, if he is able to perform at that level for another three years. I think he has a great chance to achieve that but time will tell."
Asked how hard it is to stay at peak fitness into your 30s, Arteta said Willian will have no such problems.
He said: "He is much better than me, he is much fitter than me! Don't compare him with me… I am a bad example.
"We need to know our context. To sign that type of player at 20 or 21 years old for us at the moment is impossible. We have to adapt. We need some players that can hit the ground straight away and we can be more patient with other ones for development. But if we want to develop those players well, they need top players around them. It will increase their performance and their value."
Willian only adds to Arsenal's firepower, and brings a level of versatility which will no doubt help across a chaotic season.
Asked whether he sees Wiliian playing out wide or as a No10, Arteta said: "He has played both. I think he can play as an attacking midfielder as well. We can field him in three or four different positions, depending on the formation that we use on the day."