Mikel Arteta believes Willian will become a big-game player for Arsenal this season.
The former Chelsea forward has yet to produce his best form since his free transfer to the Emirates largely because of injury and match fitness.
And while he has not scored, he has provided two assists and Arteta believes his experience and quality in big moments will be crucial for his Arsenal revolution.
Brazil star Willian, 32, played in the win at Manchester United last Sunday and started against Molde in the Europa League. And Gunners fans will be hoping that means he is ready to shine against Aston Villa on Sunday night.
Arsenal boss Arteta said: “He’s a player who can make a difference, he’s got the ability to find that last action to open the door when everything is really tight.
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“He has the ability to score a goal, create an assist and the personality and understanding we need to manage the game in certain moments. At Old Trafford he did that really well.
“Willian started really well in his first game for us against Fulham and then we’ve been changing the front three.
“He had an injury and he didn’t have any time to train, he didn’t have any pre-season, he was later in than the others. Players need to generate that cohesion, that understanding and those relationships on the pitch between the front players in order for things to work better.
“I can see a development in the last two games and the understanding of things that we do, but he’s not used to.
“He’s getting better and better and we all know the quality that he has and he’s a great option to have on the pitch.”
Arteta did admit that goals are an issue for Arsenal, having managed just one in their last three Premier League games.
“We need to be more productive,” he conceded. “In the last few weeks we’ve played against teams with lower blocks. We’ve trained to be ready against that.
“That’s probably the final bit that we need to improve upon as a team because there’s many areas where we’ve improved on a lot.
“We’ve played Man City as well, and that’s a game where you’re not going to score a lot of goals. We’ve improved with the goals and creativity but it’s consistency we need in the final third.”
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