Former Arsenal attacker Willian has divulged that one of the reasons he struggled with the North Londoners was because he missed the buzz of the crowd but has nothing but respect for the club. The 34-year-old also revealed that he wants to be a football agent once he retires from playing.
After an excellent seven year spell at Chelsea, a lot was expected from Willian when Arsenal signed the then 31-year-old on a free-transfer. However, the move didn’t work out for either party as Willian made just 37 appearances for the club and contributed to eight goals in the process. Not only that, the now 34-year-old’s struggles saw him mutually terminate his contract in the summer of 2021, leaving for Corinthians in Brazil.
It had many wondering why Arsenal signed the former Chelsea star in the first place with the Brazilian subject to heavy criticism during his spell at the club. Yet despite that, Willian admitted that he has nothing but “great respect for Arsenal” and believes they can do well this season. He also added that one of the reasons he struggled was because he missed the crowd, as the club were playing their games behind closed doors.
“For most of the season, we were playing without fans (because of COVID-19). I didn’t see Arsenal fans. Maybe I needed to feel the buzz of the crowd, that it was something I missed. It was a difficult moment not just for me, but for everyone in the world. To play without fans at a new club is not easy,” Willian said, reported the Athletic.
“On my last day there, I spoke with the manager Mikel Arteta. I thanked him a lot for what he had done for me, for bringing me to Arsenal. I just wished him all the best. He is a good manager and I have great respect for Arsenal. They are doing well, they have good players. They can achieve good things this season.”
The 34-year-old has made his return to Europe again, signing for Fulham on a free-transfer earlier this summer and has since made two appearances for the club. However, with his age and a remarkable career behind him, Willian has revealed that he wants to be a “football agent” once he retires and that he has already started studying in order to do that.
“I want to be a football agent. I have started studying, just slowly. I can’t do too much now because I’m still playing. But I am learning so when I finish I will go into that. I have had a lot of experiences I can take with me into the profession. It’s hard for young players and I want to help them. I want to give my advice, to explain what to do in certain situations,” he added.