Arsenal

Willian admits Arsenal fan abuse played role in decision to leave

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Willian is now plying his trade for Corinthians
Willian is now plying his trade for Corinthians / Visionhaus/GettyImages
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Willian has revealed that online abuse from Arsenal fans played a part in his decision to leave the club in the summer.

The forward signed for the Gunners on a free transfer following his release from Chelsea at the end of the 2019/20 season.

However, the three-year deal he signed was a source of contention for many fans and this was not helped when he made an extremely slow start to life at the Emirates Stadium.

During his only full season at the club he managed just one goal in 37 appearances and opted to return to Brazil in the summer, signing for Corinthians.

Throughout the campaign Arsenal fans were not shy to voice their displeasure at Willian's performances and, speaking on the Vibe with Five podcast, the Brazilian admitted this abuse played a role in his departure.

"I received a lot of messages on social media from them and also because I came from Chelsea," he said.

"I think if I came from another club it would have been better for them but also because I came from Chelsea and didn’t perform well - I think about that and say ‘I have to go.’”

Such was the strength of Willian's desire to leave, he even agreed to tear up his Gunners' contract in order to sign for Corinthians.

“Yeah, it was big money that I gave up – money is not the most important thing in life, you need to be happy, to be getting pleasure and wake up and want to go to training," he added.

“I wasn’t having that, so I said to myself, with my family and my wife ‘I cannot stay here, I am not happy here, I have to leave and find a way out to leave the club'.

“For me, it is unfair to stay in a place you don’t want to stay just because of the money.”


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