Ian Wright urges Arsenal to drop Willian for Tottenham clash

Gunners legend Ian Wright urges Mikel Arteta to drop Willian for Arsenal's clash against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday afternoon

Ian Wright
Arsenal legend Ian Wright (Photo: BT Sport)

Ian Wright has urged Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta to drop Willian for the north London derby at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday evening.

The Brazil international has struggled to have an impact at The Emirates following his free transfer to Arsenal from Chelsea FC in the summer transfer window.

The 32-year-old has made three assists in nine games in the Premier League this season and has had a limited impact on the north London side’s fortunes this term.

Willian hasn’t even found the score-sheet in the Europa League or the League Cup to raise questions about the Brazil international’s performance level this term.

The Brazilian playmaker was particularly disappointing in a 2-1 loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers at The Emirates on Sunday night.

Former Arsenal striker Wright believes Arteta should consider dropping Willian in favour of another Gunners attacker against Tottenham in the north London derby this weekend.

“I’d try to throw something else into the mix, Reiss Nelson or even [Bukayo] Saka on the right,” Wright said on Ringer FC’s Wrighty’s House podcast.

“But Saka’s going to be on the left so I’d put Reiss Nelson on the right instead of Willian because we know what Willian’s going to do.

“For me he’s been a little bit negative with the way he’s been playing, a lot of backwards passing.

“You need somebody who can at least get back and progress the ball.

“If Saka can go and really put pressure on [Serge] Aurier, that’s where I think if we’re going to get any kind of joy then I think Saka’s got to go up there and put pressure on him, then [Granit] Xhaka can pull in on the left, just to put that body in there then [Mohamed] Elneny should hold.”

Willian scored 63 times in 339 games in all competitions during seven seasons at Stamford Bridge, where the Brazilian won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa League.

Arsenal have already lost five times in the Premier League this season to leave Arteta’s side in 14th position in the top flight.

The Gunners are eight points adrift of Premier League leaders Tottenham ahead of their meeting on Sunday.

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