Arsenal have officially announced the signing of Brazil international Willian on a three-year deal after his departure from Chelsea.
The 32-year-old’s contract with the West London club expired after their Champions League encounter with Bayern Munich.
The Gunners beat off competition from Barcelona and Inter Miami to sign the former Shakhtar Donetsk man, who made 47 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions last term.
Willian said he decided to join the North London club because they are one of the biggest in the world and are under a new project with Arsenal Manager, Mikel Arteta.
He added, “I think this club deserves to shine again and I want to be a part of this project, to be a part of the Arsenal family is amazing. I’m very happy to do that.
“I come to try to win trophies, because this club deserves to win again, and I think you have to do the best as possible to win every game. I always train hard and go on the pitch giving 100 per cent to help this team to win games and to win titles as well.”
Arsenal manager, Arteta stated he believes the Brazilian is a player who can really make a difference for the team.
He also said, “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.
“He has the experience of everything in the football world but to still have the ambition to come here and contribute to bring the club where it belongs. I have been really impressed with all the talks I have had with him and how much he wanted to come.”
Willian, who will wear the number 12 jersey, has been a regular with the Brazilian national team, having made 70 appearances since his debut in 2011.
Speaking to Arsenal Digital, Willian spoke extensively about the reasons he is joining the club.
He stated Arteta as a key reason in his decision to move to Arsenal from their London rivals and gave an insight into why the Spaniard signed him.
“[I like] the way they play, everything is amazing – the stadium, and I think that with Arteta, Arsenal have a great opportunity to fight again for titles in the Premier League and in Europe so I’m very happy because of that.
“I’m excited to start. I can’t wait to go on the pitch and do my thing to help my team-mates and to help this club to shine again. That’s what I want.
“When I talked to [Mikel], the conversation was good, he gave me confidence to come to Arsenal. He said a lot of good things to me and that’s why I have come to Arsenal.”
On the position he will play at Arsenal, Willian said: ”That’s a difficult question – I don’t know! I leave that to Arteta. I come to help in every position.
“I can play on the right, I can play in the middle, I can play on the left side as well. So I want to help – in any position where they put me to play, I will try to do my best.”
Arsenal technical director Edu, who also represented Brazil, said he knew Willian “very well”. “He has a lot of fantastic attributes as a person, as a football player of course, his character,” said Edu.
The former Anzhi Makhachkala attacker scored a total of 37 goals in 234 games for Chelsea.