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Arteta backs Willian despite Brazilian struggling for form

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Mikel Arteta has jumped in defense of Willian despite the player’s apparent struggles for form since he joined Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta jumped to Willian’s defense after the winger had yet another poor outing in Arsenal’s FA Cup win over Newcastle.

The Brazilian has come under intense scrutiny for his below performances and he latest came against the Magpies.

Willian was deployed in the No.10 role against Newcastle but failed to do anything of note in the game.

His output, body movement, and team chemistry were poor and he barely had a decent touch all through the game.

Willian has only two shots on target in all competitions for Arsenal and his struggles were evident after he was replaced with Bukayo Saka, and the game seemingly changed.

Despite failing to convince on the pitch, Mikel Arteta believes the ex-Chelsea man is ‘improving’ but also added that the player needs to improve his additions to the team soon enough.

“I think he was improving and improving,” Arteta said regarding Willian to the club’s website.

“The other day he came on really well against West Brom. He’s been out as well because he was ill, so he’s missed almost two weeks of training and football.

“Today was the first time that he started the game. He had some good moments and he had some other moments that he needed more help sometimes, and some decisions weren’t the best. But we’re going to keep trying with him.

“He shows in training how much he wants it, he had some highlights in the game and it’s about keeping the confidence in him. We know the player he is.

Arteta continued on Willian: “I think when the team is winning it’s easier because there is more time to do that process. He needs to build the relationship with some players. Today he played in a slightly different position as well. We’ll get there.”