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Willian admits he ‘really wanted to stay’ at Chelsea

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Arsenal’s summer signing Willian revealed he did everything he could to remain in West London this season.

Brazilian forward Willian made headlines this summer as he decided to snub Chelsea for another London club, fierce rivals Arsenal. Since then, Willian has been struggling to fit in under Mikel Arteta and hasn’t won the hearts of the Gooners. Although the Brazilian is yet to score his debut goal for Arsenal, Willian provided Tierney with an important assist against Benfica in the Europa League.

Nevertheless, the 32-year-old recently confessed that if it had been up to him, Willian wouldn’t have made the switch to North London. The player claimed he did all he could to stay in Chelsea but failed to reach an agreement with the club.

“It was difficult to make that decision because the rivalry between the two clubs is very big,” he told UOL Esportes as per Goal. “It was well thought out… talking to my wife and even the agent many times.

“I didn’t leave the club with a fight, I left the doors open. Everyone knew the conditions, I really wanted to stay.  We ended up not finding an agreement. I ended up asking for three years, Chelsea wanted to give two, and everyone knows this story. That’s why I ended up leaving.”

Mikel Arteta convinced Willian to sign for Arsenal

The Brazilian international was reluctant to switch between two London-based clubs. However, the project presented by the Gunners’ manager was ambitious enough to take him through the finish line.

“One of the things that made me decide to go to Arsenal was really the various conversations I had with Mikel Arteta, with Edu too. They convinced me that I’d be a very important player in the squad. 

“They wanted to change the philosophy of the club. To make it possible for Arsenal to fight again in the Premier League, to play in the Champions League again.”