It was nothing short of magnanimity from the Brazilian player (Willian Borges da Silva, popularly known as Willian) when he terminated the remainder of his contract that could have earned him a payout worth £20.5m.
Willian, who joined from Chelsea, had two years left on his Arsenal contract worth £240,000-a-week.
However, instead of staying put at the Emirates like players of his age would have done or request for a pay-off, he magnanimously tore up the remainder of his contract with the Gunners. He will instead move to Brazil and sign for his boyhood club Corinthians with about a 70% reduction of his current wages.
Arsenal directors couldn’t have assumed this kind of mentality, they were amazed by Willian’s gesture. If their recent meetings and constructive discussions with him and his team are to be considered, the Brazilian would be leaving for a new opportunity with Corinthians in Brazil, where he started his career.
The Brazilian’s short stint in the Red shirt cannot be described as his best moment because he struggled to make his imprint the way he did in Chelsea’s Blue shirt. Age could have been his undoing or the change in philosophy and scenery.
Willian was snapped up by Chelsea when he was plying his trade in Anzhi Makhachkala for a reported fee of £30m. The deal was hijacked from Chelsea’s London neighbors Tottenham Hotspur.
Initially, Spurs were edging closer for the signature of the former Shakhtar Donetsk winger but chairman Daniel Levy’s shrewdness and stubbornness to get a lower deal was his undoing. Roman Abramovich and Mourinho’s eagerness to seal the deal clinched Willian for the Blues.
They reversed his movement and he ended up with the Blues instead of Tottenham Hotspur. Anzhi signed Willian from the Ukrainian top club, Shakhtar Donetsk for a reported fee of €35m.
Due to financial restructuring in Anzhi Makhachkala, he was able to play six months of football in Russia before he was sold and the Jose Mourinho-led Chelsea team were able to secure his services in August 2013.
Willian’s time at Anzhi Makhachkala wasn’t a lengthy one because of the injury he sustained on his debut against Newcastle United in the Europa League. He was able to appear 11 times for the Russian club with just one goal to show for his time there.
Regardless, his Chelsea career was a robust one. Before he switched to Arsenal, Willian recorded 63 goals in 339 appearances altogether for the London club. On record, he’s the second player from Brazil to have reached a huge number of game appearances in the Premier league with (234) after Lucas Leiva of Liverpool (247).
He’s also fourth on the goals log of Brazilian players who had played or are playing in the Premier league with (37 goals). It was a trophy-laden experience for him with the blues after his transfer switch from the Russian club, Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013.
He won five trophies. 2 Premier League titles in the 2015 and 2017 seasons, 1 FA Cup in 2018, 1 League Cup in 2015, and 1 Europa League trophy in 2019.
The Brazilian decided to bow out of Chelsea due to contract disagreements. He demanded a two-year extension but Chelsea weren’t willing to grant his desire. He couldn’t stay and he made his move to join Chelsea’s neighbors instead;
Arsenal were willing to offer him a three-year contract. However, his move to the Gunners from the Blues last summer did not work out as expected. He was able to manage 25 appearances for the Gunners with just 1 goal.
Willian concurred that he’s not in his best form for Arsenal and he couldn’t explain why his form deteriorated. He pacified arsenal fans and implored them to forgive him for not being the best version himself for the Gunners.
Arsenal, on the other hand, are lurking around and are on the lookout to get a formidable replacement to spice up their midfield. Willian’s fellow countryman Bruno Guimaraes who plies his trade for Ligue 1 outfit Lyon has been identified as the ideal candidate to fill the void.
With about 24 hours to the closure of the summer transfer window, lots of deals are expected to be finalized and unexpected moves could be carried out.
Meanwhile, Willian who’s expected to finalize his move to Corinthians in coming days has wished everyone at the club the very best for the future”.