Brazil winger Willian joins Arsenal on three-year contract

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Arsenal have signed Brazil winger Willian on a three-year deal, the Premier League club said on Friday.

LONDON - Arsenal have signed Brazil winger Willian on a three-year deal, the Premier League club said on Friday.

The 32-year-old joins Arsenal on a free transfer after failing to agree on a new long-term contract with Chelsea.

Willian scored 63 goals in 339 appearances for Chelsea after his arrival from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013.

Twice a Premier League winner with the Blues, he will add experience to an Arsenal side full of talented youngsters in Bukayo Saka, Joe Willock, Gabriel Martinelli and Reiss Nelson.

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"I believe he's a player that can really make a difference for us," Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said in a statement on the club's website.

"We have been monitoring him for the past few months, we had a clear intention to strengthen in the attacking midfielder and the winger positions (and) he is a player that gives us a lot of versatility."

Willian had confirmed last week that he would leave Chelsea after seven "wonderful" years at Stamford Bridge.

"I have been really impressed with all the talks I have had with him and how much he wanted to come," Arteta added,

The Spaniard is also working towards tying down striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a new three-year contract as Arsenal, who finished eighth in the Premier League last season, look to bridge the gap to the top four.

The moves come amid a backlash against the north London club who announced plans to lay off 55 staff a week after their FA Cup success over Chelsea at Wembley guaranteed them a spot in next season's Europa League. 

Source
Reuters