PREMIER LEAGUE

Willian joins Arsenal, inherits Giroud’s shirt

Brazil winger Willian Borges has joined Arsenal from Chelsea on a free transfer ahead of the 2020/21 Premier League season and will wear Oliver Giroud’s No 12 jersey.

Willian has put pen to a three-year deal reportedly worth £100,000 per week.

The experienced 32-year-old forward has more than 600 club appearances in a career spanning 13 seasons, starting from Corinthians, Shakhtar Donetsk, Anzhi Makhachkala before joining Chelsea in 2013.

Speaking on the deal to sign Willian, Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta said the club has been monitoring him for months.

“I believe he’s a player that can really make a difference for us,” Mikel Arteta told Arsenal.com.

“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, he can play in three or four different positions.

“He has the experience of everything in the football world but to still have the ambition to come here and contribute to bring the club where it belongs. I have been really impressed with all the talks I have had with him and how much he wanted to come.” 

Technical director Edu said: “I know him very well, since a long time ago because we’ve been working together for the Brazilian national team and of course I was following him because he played for another club.

“He has a lot of fantastic attributes as a person, as a football player of course, his character. I’m 100 per cent sure that everybody in the dressing room, the fans, myself and Mikel will enjoy having Willian in our side.”

Willian won five trophies in Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk (four Ukrainian Premier League and the Uefa Cup in 2009). He won two Premier League titles, FA Cup and Europa League with Chelsea.

He made 339 appearances, with 63 goals and 56 assists during his time with Chelsea.

The winger made his international debut in 2011 and has made 70 appearances, scoring nine goals for Brazil.

He has since represented his country at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, the 2015 Copa America, the Copa America Centenario, and the 2019 Copa America where he was a key member of the squad that lifted the trophy on home soil.

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