Paul Merson has voiced his fears over Willian’s role under Mikel Arteta since his move from London rivals Chelsea.
The Brazilian has endured a difficult start to life in north London, having assisted or scored no goals since the opening day win over Fulham.
In an interview with Sky Sports, the former Gunners man claimed Arteta needs to get the veteran winger performing once again.
He said: “I think I’m seeing things at the moment. Willian was unbelievable at Chelsea last year. For me, he was probably one of the best Chelsea players. He was phenomenal – an outstanding talent. He has gone to Arsenal and he looks lost. They have got to get him performing.” (via Sky Sports)
Who should start on the left-wing against Newcastle United?
If anything Willian current displays encapsulate just how poor the north London outfit have been. No creativity and a lack of cutting edge is exactly how the 32-year-0ld and his club have been performing since they taught the Cottagers a footballing lesson.
However, it’s the Brazil international, who has been one of the key worries over on the left-wing. Willian has completed just one take on all season and for a winger, that is a staggering statistic. Compare him to the likes of Nicolas Pepe, who only cares about taking on and beating his man when on the ball and you get two players who are polar opposites.
As Merson alluded to in his comments, Willian was brilliant under Frank Lampard last season, ending the season with 76 chances created, the seventh most in the Premier League. However, he’s been a shadow of that creative force this season, creating just two chances so far this season with both coming on the opening day.
With the former Manchester City coach having left Mesut Ozil out of his league squad, most of the creative onus has fallen on the 5’9 man and he’s failing spectacularly. Arsenal can’t afford any more slip-ups from their summer signing, who really needs to hit the ground sooner rather than later.