'He needs a little bit of time': Edu defends Arsenal summer signing Willian
Edu has insisted that Willian needs more time to adjust at Arsenal following his poor form
Willian needs more time to adjust to being part of the Arsenal team, according to the club’s technical director Edu.
The Brazil international completed a free transfer to Arsenal from Chelsea FC in the summer window after the Blues released the veteran forward at the end of the 2020-21 season.
Willian opted to move to Arsenal ahead of a potential reunion with Jose Mourinho at Tottenham Hotspur to represent what was billed as a transfer coup at the time of his move.
However, the 32-year-old has struggled to capture his best form since his switch to the north London side despite Mikel Arteta giving the South American regular first-team football.
Willian had failed to score or make an assist in 11 appearances in the Premier League this season ahead of the visit of Southampton on Wednesday night.
Only six players have played more Premier League minutes for Arsenal in the current campaign.
Willian was heavily criticised for his subdued display in Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat by Burnley at The Emirates on Sunday night.
However, Arsenal technical director Edu believes that Willian needs more time to adjust to life at the north London side.
“Listen, everybody knows Willian,” Edu is quoted as saying by Metro.
“If people say that he’s not a good footballer then maybe they don’t know football because he has always performed at the top, top level. Then he moved.
“For me, Willian is a question of time to be performing how we know he can.
“What do you expect? Do you expect it straight away? Boom! Willian can be the best one? But he needs a little bit of time, it’s strange as well to say that but you need time to know the players who you are going to play with.
“Sometimes you receive the ball in positions, sometimes in other positions, Mikel wants to play forwards, the other one wants to play to the side, there’s a little bit of adaptation.
“Players need time to understand how to train, how to work with the people, to understand a lot of things and I told him that I know that and I hope that people from outside understand that as well.
“That’s happening with Willian.
“Training, he’s training properly. His behaviour? Top, as always. Training? Fantastic. For me, it’s just a question of timing.”
Arsenal signed six new players in the 2020 summer transfer window after the Gunners recruited Willian, Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey, Lille defender Gabriel and Dijon goalkeeper Alex Runarsson.
The Gunners also secured Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari on permanent deals after loan moves last term.