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Mikel Arteta explains why Willian has struggled at Arsenal since Chelsea move


Willian has struggled to maintain his fast start (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta believes there are a number of factors behind Willian’s inconsistent form since joining Arsenal this summer but backed him to become a force for the club.

Willian joined Arsenal on a free transfer from London rivals Chelsea and got off to a flying start, providing three assists on his debut against Fulham.

However, he has struggled to replicate that form since – failing to add to those early goal contributions.

But Arsenal boss Arteta is not concerned by his dip in form.

He believes a lack of pre-season, rotation in the front line and the time required to develop relationships with his new team-mates have all been contributing factors.

‘I think he started really well with his first game against Fulham,’ said Arteta ahead of their clash with Aston Villa.

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‘We’ve been changing the front three, he had an injury and he didn’t have any time to train, any pre-season – he was later than the others.

‘I can see a development in the last two games. The understanding of things I ask them to do is probably different to what he’s used to, but he’s getting better and better.

‘We all know the quality he has and he’s a great option to have on the pitch.

‘I think he’s a player that can make the difference. He’s got the ability to find that last action to open the door when everything is really tight, to score a goal, to create an assist.

‘As well the personality and stamina he has on the pitch to manage the game we need to in certain moments and at Old Trafford I think he did that really well.’

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