Mikel Arteta says there are a number of reasons why Willian has struggled for form since joining Arsenal this summer but backed him to become a force for the club.
Willian signed for Arsenal on a free transfer from London rivals Chelsea and got off to a good start, providing three assists on his debut for the club against Fulham.
However, the Brazilian has struggled to replicate that form since – he has failed to add to those early goal contributions. But the Arsenal manager is not worried by his dip in form.
Arteta believes a lack of pre-season, rotation in attack and the time required to develop relationships with his new team-mates have all been major contributing factors to his poor form.
‘I think he started really well with his first game against Fulham,’ said Mikel Arteta ahead of their Premier League game with Aston Villa.
‘We’ve been changing the front three, he had an injury and he didn’t have any time to train, any pre-season – he was later than the others.
‘I can see a development in the last two games. The understanding of things I ask them to do is probably different to what he’s used to, but he’s getting better and better.
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‘We all know the quality he has and he’s a great option to have on the pitch.
‘I think he’s a player that can make the difference. He’s got the ability to find that last action to open the door when everything is really tight, to score a goal, to create an assist.
‘As well the personality and stamina he has on the pitch to manage the game we need to in certain moments and at Old Trafford I think he did that really well.’