Mikel Arteta sheds light on new role Willian will play at Arsenal

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed his delight in the Gunners completing the signing of Willian on a free after the Brazilian confirmed his exit from Chelsea last week.

Mikel Arteta has shed some light on the role Willian will play for Arsenal next season.

The 32-year-old was signed on a free transfer on Friday, putting pen to paper on a three-year deal worth around £100,000-a-week.

Arteta pointed out that the Brazilian is capable of playing in “three or four different positions”, and added that he brings “a lot of versatility”.

Willian is unlikely to cement a first-team place at Arsenal, but appears likely to be used as an attacking utility man, filling in across the park whenever and wherever he is needed.

Shedding light on the role he’ll play for the Gunners, Arteta told Arsenal Digital: “I believe he’s a player that can really make a difference for us.

“We have been monitoring him for the past few months, we had a clear intention to strengthen in the attacking midfielder and the winger positions [and] he is a player that gives us a lot of versatility, he can play in three or four different positions.

“As well he brings a lot of quality and something that we need, which is winners. He has the experience to win almost everything in the football world but still the ambition to come here and contribute to bring the club where it belongs.

“It is many of his qualities [that appeal]. One is his ability to play in those tight spaces, his ability to play people through, to unlock, to drive with the ball and create overloads, he is a goal threat as well both in open play and with set pieces. 

“Again, it is the character that I want, the kind of player that when things get difficult in the game that wants to take responsibility, wants the ball and wants to win the game for the team and I think it is going to be a really good lift for all the players as well in terms of the quality we are bringing to the squad.”