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Exclusive: Willian on Barcelona transfer rumours – and why Mikel Arteta “will be considered one of the best managers in the world”

Willian, Arsenal, FourFourTwo interview
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Arsenal winger Willian is convinced that Mikel Arteta will soon be considered one of the best managers in the world after being impressed by the Spaniard since making a summer switch from Chelsea. 

The Brazilian made the move across London in the summer after seven years at Stamford Bridge, having failed to agree terms for a new contract. 

But he explains in the December 2020 issue of FourFourTwo magazineavailable online now and in shops on November 18 – that he believes 38-year-old Gunners boss Arteta is destined for great things.

“He’ll be a top manager, I’ve no doubt about it,” Willian says.

“The potential is there, as is the ambition. In a few years he’ll be considered one of the best managers in the Premier League – and the world.

“Obviously you must win trophies to be considered one of the best, and it will happen for him sooner rather than later. I’m impressed with the way he talks and explains his tactical thoughts – he’s quick to read the game and make adjustments when needed. It’s been fantastic to train under him so far and I’m learning a lot.” 

320 Willian

(Image credit: Future)

Willian was heavily linked with a move to Barcelona before joining the Gunners, but he explained that no concrete interest ever came from the Spanish side.

“There are always rumours, but I didn’t know about any other official offer,” he says.  

“Indeed, there was a lot of talk about Barcelona for the past few seasons, but I wouldn’t have gone there just because they’re Barça.

“I wouldn’t go to any club without hearing about their targets and what they wanted from me.

“It wouldn’t be nice to be there or anywhere else if you weren’t going to be a big part of the project and didn’t play much. 

"Arsenal were the only club to show me a project that would fit with my ambitions, and they’re one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

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