USA

Willian joins Arsenal after contract expires at Chelsea

LONDON (AP) — Brazil winger Willian completed a cross-London move to Arsenal on Friday after his contract expired at fellow Premier League team Chelsea.

The 32-year-old Willian rejected the offer of a two-year extension with Chelsea, where he played since 2013.

“We have been monitoring him for the past few months,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said. “We had a clear intention to strengthen in the attacking midfielder and the winger positions; he is a player that gives us a lot of versatility, he can play in three or four different positions.

“He has the experience of everything in the football world but to still have the ambition to come here and contribute to bring the club where it belongs. I have been really impressed with all the talks I have had with him and how much he wanted to come.”

Willian primarily plays as a right winger, where record signing Nicolas Pepe and youngster Reiss Nelson are deployed at Arsenal.

Willian helped Chelsea to two Premier League titles, one FA Cup title and the 2019 Europa League title, where the Blues beat Arsenal 4-1 in Baku.

The former Corinthians player was forced to watch on when Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-1 in this month’s FA Cup final, however, as he missed out because of an ankle problem.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

More from WTOP

Football news:

Valery Karpin: Maccabi is a playing, pressing team. It is very dangerous to let her do everything
Barcelona will make one last attempt to sign Lautaro
Lingard's agents are in talks with clubs from England and Europe
Boateng said he dyed his hair purple because he lost an argument to a friend
Bayer loaned defender Aryas from Atletico
Van de Beek on trophies: Manchester United will fight for everything
Koeman feels the mistrust because of the situation in Barcelona (Marca)