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“I wasn’t motivated to train at Arsenal” – Brazilian forward forward speaks out about disappointing spell at Emirates Stadium

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Former Arsenal forward Willian has revealed that he did not feel “motivated” to train during his disappointing spell with the North London heavyweights.

Mikel Arteta welcomed the Brazil international to the Emirates Stadium in 2020 after a breakdown in contract talks led to his exit from Chelsea.

 

The 34-year-old signed a three-year conttract with the North London giants and provided two assists on his debut against Fulham at Craven Cottage, however, he failed to make a long-lasting impression.

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Willian made a total of 37 games during his time with the Gunners, during which he set up seven goals but only found the back of the net once – scoring a free kick against West Bromwich Albion.

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The forward deal was terminated to allow him to rejoin Corinthians on a free transfer, and having returned to the English top-tier with Fulham, Willian has now opened up on his ill-fated time at Arsenal.

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Speaking to The Athletic on his contract termination, Willian said: “I think I’m maybe the only player who has done something like this. Any other player in my situation would have stayed until the end of the contract and kept picking up the money. But I’m not like this.

 

 

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“Money is not the most important thing in the world. I have to feel good, to feel motivated to go to training. I wasn’t having that there so I decided to leave.

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“For most of the season, we were playing without fans. I didn’t see Arsenal fans. Maybe I needed to feel the buzz of the crowd, that it was something I missed. It was a difficult moment not just for me, but for everyone in the world.

 

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“To play without fans at a new club is not easy. On my last day there, I spoke with the manager Mikel Arteta. I thanked him a lot for what he had done for me, for bringing me to Arsenal.

 

“I just wished him all the best. He is a good manager and I have great respect for Arsenal. They are doing well, they have good players. They can achieve good things this season.”

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Willian was believed to have earned £200,000 per week at the Emirates Stadium, and he played 45 games in total for Corinthians during his second spell at the Brazilian club.

 

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