Ex-Chelsea and Arsenal star Willian eyed for shock Premier League return

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner 5 Aug 2022 15:01 BST 3 min read
Willian, Corinthians, 2022

Willian could make a return to the Premier League a year after departing Arsenal following a failed season with the Emirates Stadium club.

Goal reports that Fulham are interested in the former Brazil international winger, who spent seven years at Chelsea before moving across London to their rivals in a controversial free transfer. He had been due to spend three years with the Gunners but departed after only one.

Now 33, Willian has spent the last year playing with Corinthians in his homeland, turning out 44 times and scoring a single goal for the Sao Paulo club, where he came through the academy ranks.

Despite being troubled by injury issues, the winger is now slated for a return to England, although it is stated that he has “several” options from overseas clubs. Goal adds that Willian has a clause in his contract that allows him to be released to join a team in Europe.

Fulham, meanwhile, are looking to bolster their forward line after returning to the Premier League following their title success in the Championship.

Why did Willian leave Arsenal?

Although Willian proved to be an expensive flop with Arsenal, in terms of his wages, he won acclaim for walking away from a big contract that still had two years to run. Indeed, he was on an estimated £240,000 a week.

"We have reached a mutual agreement with Willian to terminate his contract effective from today," a statement from Arsenal read at the time.

"He had two more years to run on his contract but following positive and constructive recent discussions with him and his team, he will be leaving for a new opportunity with Corinthians in Brazil, where he began his career.

"Everyone at Arsenal wishes Willian and his family well for the future."

Why £7.2m-a-year Willian leaving Arsenal for Inter Miami is a longshot

Willian later said: “I was not happy, that’s why I didn’t perform. I don’t want to go into the details, but I wasn’t happy.

"So, when I arrived there I was happy, from the beginning I was motivated, I wanted to do well, new club, new mates, new projects.

"After three months, I told my agent: 'Please, I want to go.' I don’t want to speak bad about the club because it is a big club, has a big history in football, big players played there before it’s a big club - but it didn’t work, it was of course the most difficult time of my career."

It had been hinted that Willian had fallen out with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.

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