Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is hopeful Willian’s 30-minute cameo against Dundalk will aid his fitness after recovering from a calf injury to feature in Thursday’s Europa League 3-0 win.
The 32-year-old made a bright start to life at Arsenal after leaving Chelsea on a free transfer in the summer but had been underwhelming in his most recent games.
“We missed Willian the last couple of weeks, he had a very short pre-season,” Arteta said after the win over Dundalk.
“He needs that bit of rhythm. He looked good today, great to get some minutes in his legs.”
Arteta’s comments come after Willian admitted to sometimes getting frustrated with the rigid structure and style implemented by the Arsenal manager.
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“It’s been a cool, new experience. I hadn’t worked with a coach with that mindset,” Willian told Globo Esporte.
“The positional game doesn’t mean that you have no freedom on the pitch, you have the freedom to move, but many times you have to respect the position, what the coach asks, the instructions, understanding that it’ll be better for the team.
“It may happen that you don’t touch the ball and get frustrated, but Mikel always says that, wait a minute, the ball will arrive. I’ve been learning a lot.”