Brazil international Willian has signed a three-year deal to join us ahead of the 2020/21 season.
The 32-year-old forward has a wealth of experience and has made more than 600 club appearances in a career spanning 13 seasons.
Willian started at Brazilian side Corinthians, before joining Shakhtar Donetsk in August 2007. In his six years there, he won four Ukrainian Premier League titles and the Uefa Cup in 2009. Four years later, he briefly signed for Anzhi Makhachkala before joining Chelsea, winning the Premier League and League Cup in his second season in England.
Throughout his seven years at Chelsea, he won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and the Europa League. He made 339 appearances, with 63 goals and 56 assists in that time.
“I believe he’s a player that can really make a difference for us,” Mikel Arteta said. “We have been monitoring him for the past few months, we had a clear intention to strengthen in the attacking midfielder and the winger positions [and] he is a player that gives us a lot of versatility, he can play in three or four different positions. He has the experience of everything in the football world but to still have the ambition to come here and contribute to bring the club where it belongs. I have been really impressed with all the talks I have had with him and how much he wanted to come.”
Willian has made 70 appearances and has scored nine goals for Brazil, making his international debut in 2011. He has since represented his country at the 2014 and 2018 World Cups, the 2015 Copa America, the Copa America Centenario, and the 2019 Copa America where he was a key member of the squad that lifted the trophy on home soil.
Technical director Edu said: “I know him very well, since a long time ago because we’ve been working together for the Brazilian national team and of course I was following him because he played for another club. He has a lot of fantastic attributes as a person, as a football player of course, his character. I’m 100 per cent sure that everybody in the dressing room, the fans, myself and Mikel will enjoy having Willian in our side.“
Willian will wear the number 12 shirt.
The deal is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.