Mikel Arteta has provided his backing to Willian, despite the Brazilian’s poor start to life in an Arsenal shirt.
Willian continues to underwhelm
Arsenal were in FA Cup action on Saturday evening, kicking off the defence of their title vs Newcastle.
The clash, for the most part, disappointed, with extra-time having been required for the Gunners to eventually secure the win.
Substitute Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang netted a goal each to earn Mikel Arteta’s side a 2-0 victory.
One of those to have once again struggled for Arsenal on Saturday, though, was Willian.
Since displaying promise on his debut for the club on the opening day of the season vs Fulham, the Brazilian has since been seriously out of form.
Arteta on Willian
In fact, across his last 17 appearances for the north Londoners, the former Chelsea man has provided just one assist, to go along with no goals.
As such, with the likes of Smith Rowe, Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Martinelli all representing capable options, fans have begun to question Mikel Arteta’s insistence on handing Willian such regular football.
Despite such concerns, though, following his side’s win over Newcastle, Arteta moved to defend the Brazilian, voicing the opinion that Willian is ‘improving’.
The Arsenal boss even went on to confirm that he intends to ‘keep trying’ with the summer addition to his squad:
“Well, I think he was improving and improving.
“The other he 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 and today it was the first time that he started the game.
“He had some good moments and he had some other moments where he needed more help sometimes and some decisions weren’t the best.
“But we’re going to keep trying with him. He’s showing in training how much he wants it. He’s got some highlights, and it’s about keeping the confidence on him. We know the player that he is and it’s about time to show it”
Quotes via the Mirror.
See also: Stockport County vs West Ham United betting tips: FA Cup preview, predictions & odds
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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