Paul Merson admits he 'cannot believe' Chelsea FC sold Willian to Arsenal

Paul Merson admits his surprise at Chelsea FC's willingness to let Willian leave to join Arsenal this summer

Chelsea FC forward Willian (Photo: Willian / Instagram)
Willian (Photo: Willian / Instagram)

Paul Merson has admitted that he “cannot believe” that Chelsea FC allowed Willian to leave the club and sign for London rivals Arsenal this summer.

The Blues opted to let the Brazil international depart Stamford Bridge and join the Gunners on a free transfer after weeks of speculation about his future at the club.

Chelsea FC had been reluctant to hand Willian the three-year contract he was seeking, while Arsenal were willing to do business and hand him a deal until 2023.

The 32-year-old attacking midfielder made a superb start to his Arsenal career last weekend as he made two assists and was named as the man of the match in the club’s 3-0 win at Fulham in their Premier League season opener.

Now, former Gunners midfielder Merson has admitted that he cannot understand why Chelsea FC were willing to let such an experienced and talented player leave Stamford Bridge for nothing.

Writing in his column for Sky Sports, Merson said: “I cannot believe Chelsea let Willian go.

“I know they have gone out and get special players, but there is nothing to say they are going to hit the ground running.

“In Willian, you have got someone there who is ready-made. I like who they have signed, but they cost a lot of money, and their wages are probably the same as Willian.

“Frank Lampard has now. He has not got four years. That’s management, I’m not being horrible. Even if Frank wins the league this year, it does not mean he is going to be there in four years’ time! We know that, and how it changes.

“Who is to say this is not going to take time for Chelsea? And I don’t think they’ve got time at the moment.”

Willian will be hoping to feature for Arsenal when the Gunners take on West Ham United in their Premier League clash at The Emirates on Saturday night.

The north London side are aiming to try and break back into the top four this season after they ended up eighth in the table and won the FA Cup last term.

Chelsea FC, meanwhile, are preparing to take on defending champions Liverpool FC at Stamford Bridge on Sunday afternoon.

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