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Arsenal have announced they have reached a mutual agreement with Willian to terminate the forward’s contract.
Willian, 33, a two-time Premier League winner with Chelsea, completed a free transfer to the Emirates in August 2020 and failed to live up to expectations across an underwhelming debut season.
And though Willian still had two years remaining on his £200k-a-week deal, which he signed when he arrived in north London, the veteran attacker and his team held ‘positive and constructive’ meetings where it was decided he could leave.
Willian will return to his native Brazil to rejoin boyhood club Corinthians where he started his professional career back in 2006.
‘Everyone at Arsenal wishes Willian and his family well for the future,’ an official statement on the Gunners’ website said on Monday night.
‘The contract termination is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.’
Willian had a promising start to his Arsenal career, providing two assists on his debut in the club’s 3-0 victory at Fulham at the start of last season.
However, the Brazil international badly struggled for form over the following months and managed just one goal in all competitions for the north London outfit across the campaign.
Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s 5-0 defeat to Manchester City, Arteta confirmed that the club were in discussions with Willian and his representative over his future.
‘We are having some conversations with him and the agent,’ the Arsenal head coach told reporters.
‘We’re evaluating the position we’re in at the moment.’
Willian has been the first to admit that his time at Arsenal has been a disappointment, conceding in March that last season was the ‘worst’ period he had experienced since turning professional.
‘It really was a very difficult start, apart from that first game against Fulham where I produced a good performance and had a good game,’ he told ESPN Brazil.
‘Even after that game there were some games that we won and I had a good game, but then we ended up having a bad streak.
‘I also had a bad run from a personal perspective and I think it was my worst time as a professional to date, since I came through the ranks at Corinthians, moved to Ukraine and then Chelsea, without a doubt.
‘Of course, when you’re in a difficult moment you get really upset and try to find solutions, a way to improve and to try to help the team.
‘That’s what I’ve been doing all this time, I never stopped training, working and dedicating myself as much as possible.’
Source: Metro Sport