Newcastle United were linked with a free transfer move for Willian going into last offseason. His appeal would be as a proven player on the wing to help create for the NUFC strikers. But, the winger decided to join Arsenal once his time was up with Chelsea. While the season clearly hasn’t gone as planned for the Magpies, they did make the right call when it comes to Willian.
The 32-year-old has been a disappointment this season and a frustration for Arsenal supporters. He has 20 appearances across all competitions this campaign with zero goals and three assists total. But, with two of those coming in the opener vs. Fulham and one in November, he’s been ice cold since then. His performance against Newcastle was especially tough to watch.
His dismal play is compounded by the fact that Mikel Arteta is playing the aging Premier League veteran over younger, more promising options. The Brazilian is likely benefitting from the Emirates being empty because there would certainly be some boos aimed in his direction.
According to SporTrac, Willian is making £192,308 per week with the Gunners. That puts him as the third-highest earner (with Mesut Ozil’s top bill coming off the books) for wages on the club. His reported wages would be the most on Newcastle United’s books by more than a £100, 000 over Joelinton’s £86,538 contract.
With that heavy price and that lack of production, Newcastle United supporters will be glad that their club got this one right. For Arsenal and the Gooners, they are staring down an aging winger under contract through June 2023.