KEY POINTS

  • Mikel Arteta feels Willian is starting to recall his old form for the Gunners
  • Willian has yet to score this season for Arsenal
  • Willian is pressured to perform and prove he is worth the hefty investment

Willian Borges da Silva knows he needs to get his act together and appears to be taking baby steps toward that direction for Arsenal FC. The 32-year-old winger got some praise from manager Mikel Arteta after showing some signs of life to help the Gunners’ cause.

Willian finally contributed an assist against Benfica last week, perhaps the lone bright spot he has shown for Arsenal since arriving at Emirates Stadium. Paid roughly $290,000 a week, expectations are high for the Brazilian, who got a lucrative deal since moving in from Chelsea FC.

“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,” Arteta said to reporters.

However, Arteta admitted that more is expected from Willian since signing with the Gunners. Though he has blended in well with his Arsenal teammates, the Brazilian has yet to unravel a performance worth lauding.

Regardless, the Gunners boss hopes that Willian can gain momentum from that performance and show why Arsenal took him in. Willian has had no goals for the season and has managed only four assists in 26 appearances. His lack of production is singled out as one of the reasons why the Gunners are ranked at the bottom half of the Premier League table.

Willian has the chance to pick up from that performance when Arsenal faces Olympiacos in March. The Gunners are set to play several games in 21 days, including a two-leg Europa League schedule opposite Thrylos.

The Brazilian has his work cut out for him as he tries to justify the hefty investment that the Gunners made. In a previous report, former Arsenal defender Nigel Winterburn did not mince words when he stated that the 32-year-old winger has been underperforming.

“You can’t hide away from the fact that most of the supporters expected a lot more than what we’ve seen so far,” Winterburn said.

 Willian of Arsenal Willian of Arsenal Photo: Getty Images | Visionhaus