Arsenal are ‘going nowhere’ by signing players like Willian, says club legend Tony Adams

Cameron Smith
Cameron Smith Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST 2 min read
Arsenal are ‘going nowhere’ by signing players like Willian, says club legend Tony Adams

Arsenal legend, and two time Premier League winner Tony Adams has warned his former club that they simply won’t progress if they show a lack of imagination in the transfer market, and sign players like Willian just because they have “got a bit of experience.”

Mikel Arteta swooped for free-agent Willian in the summer after the Brazilian had rejected a new contract at Chelsea, and was seen as a solution to the creativity problem that had plagued the squad since Mesut Ozil’s omission.

However, Willian, who scored 63 goals and assisted 49 in 339 appearances for Chelsea, has failed to impress since his move across London, and has lost his place in the starting XI to both Bukayo Saka, and Emile-Smith Rowe, two Hale End academy graduates.

The two youngsters have far outperformed the experienced Brazilian, who has made 12 Premier League starts this season, and his expensive wages and lack of impact on the team has left many fans to question how wise the transfer was.

Adams, who made over 500 appearances for the Gunners, has also questioned the decision to sign the 32-year-old, and told Stadium Astro: “Why have you brought him into the squad? If you have got him just to make up the numbers because he has got a bit of experience, where are you going with that?

“I have cried out about the recruitment on more than one occasion. Edu is very inexperienced and they were heavily reliant on agents to get players into the club. All of a sudden you have got Willian, Cedric, all the same agent.

“We have got so many kids coming through, don’t buy these players.

“You spot areas of the squad that are weak. You don’t go and get Willian on a three-year contract, that is going nowhere. That is really poor sports directorship.

“We all get ones wrong, but if you are building a club to win the league then you don’t fill up areas when you have good kids coming through.”

The players Arsenal expected to provide quality and consistency haven’t, and the youngsters with hunger and a drive to impress have proved they deserved a chance.

The early spell of poor form has been overturned by youthful exuberance and with the failure of Willian’s signing, you have to question whether the board will change their ways, and start investing in youth, rather than experience.

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