The agent of Willian has launched a scathing verdict on Mikel Arteta’s role on the Brazilian joining Arsenal a year ago.
Kia Joorabchian described the club’s boss as the “key driver” behind the move for the forward and claimed that his client “went for ‘the project’ but it wasn’t there.”
The influential agent claimed that Willian had been presented with several presentations by Arteta on what his role would be within the team but this did not come to pass last season.
Willian has now agreed to terminate his three-year contract at the North London club after just one season as he has returned to Brazilian club Corinthians as a free agent.
The 33-year-old joined the Gunners a year ago after his seven-year stint at London rivals Chelsea came to an end but he struggled to replicate his form in North London.
Willian scored just one goal during his ill-fated stint at Arsenal – in a late-season win at home to West Brom in the Premier League.
His agent Joorabchian was speaking about his client’s decision to walk away from a contract that was worth a reported £20million.
He explained on talkSPORT : “Yes, it (the numbers) is true, it’s mostly accurate. I’m not going to reveal numbers exactly, but the reports are pretty much accurate.
“He terminated his contract and he did it willingly, he’s probably one of the first players to do so.
“Previously players, especially at Arsenal, have sat their contracts out, but he wasn’t one of them.”
When quizzed behind the explanation of Willian’s exit, the agent added: “When he joined, he sincerely joined because he was very much at the centre of Arteta’s thinking.
Who was to blame for Willian’s failure at Arsenal? Comment below
“Arteta make several presentations to Willian and made it clear he would be the focus point of how he would build the team around him.
“Willian had an offer from Chelsea to extend for two more years, but he wanted three years and he made the move. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for him.
“He was getting very heavily criticised over why he made the move here, but none of the things that have been suggested have not been the case.”
Joorabchian then added that the Brazilian was far from the only addition at Arsenal in recent years who has failed to find his best form at the club.
He added: “I spoke to Arsenal. I had a meeting with Arteta and Edu, they explained this has not gone well and I spoke to Willian.
“I don’t think it benefits any part to just let someone sit there for the sake of sitting there. When things go wrong, both sides should consider the fact it’s gone wrong and you need to find a solution.
“I think Willian did the right thing, he went for the project and the project wasn’t there.
“Unfortunately, I’d have to say, which player has moved to Arsenal that has not been a disaster in the last couple of years? That one I speak as a fan.
“I don’t think this is about Willian. I think something has gone wrong [at Arsenal] and this is just one piece of the puzzle.
“Nobody blames Arteta, we all want Arteta to do well. Even as fans, they might be disgruntled at the moment, but they want the best for the football club. Willian wants all the success for Arteta and this Arsenal team.
“Corintihans is a perfect marriage, they have 40 million fans, he began his career at the club…”
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