Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has told Sky Sports that he now thinks Willian could finally hit top form with the Gunners.
Willian left London rivals Chelsea for a free transfer to Arsenal over the summer, earning big money at the Emirates Stadium.
After excelling on the opening weekend of the season with two assists against Fulham, Willian has drifted into dismal form for most of the campaign.
The 32-year-old has failed to provide creativity, and wasn’t providing the energy that Arteta needed to push his Arsenal side forward.
Willian has largely found himself on the bench of late, but he did make an impact in Thursday’s Europa League win over Benfica.
Willian picked up an assist by setting up Kieran Tierney’s goal, and his performance certainly impressed boss Arteta.
Arteta has admitted that Arsenal expected more from Willian, and now hopes that Thursday’s display will spark an improvement.
Arteta added that Willian is impressive in training, and it will now be interesting to see whether he is picked to start at Leicester City today.
“He is a player who we all like,” said Arteta. “His team-mates like him and we were expecting many more things from him since he joined but for many different reasons he hasn’t found his best performances. But hopefully Thursday’s performance is going to give him the platform and belief that he is a really important player – he is a player I really like and I did a lot to bring him in and hopefully he can still give us more.”
“I was really pleased with Willian on Thursday and he totally deserves some credit because of the way he trains every day and he is trying. In games now you can see that he is starting to produce what we think he can do for the team so everyone has to step up and create big moments in games because the front players in the end have to be the ones that decide the game for us,” he added.