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Willian, Arsenal agree terms for three-year contract — reports

It’s happening

Arsenal v Chelsea - FA Cup Final Photo by Adam Davy/Pool via Getty Images

Chelsea winger Willian is three days shy of his 32nd birthday, but he reportedly just agreed a three-year deal with Arsenal Football Club. It’s quite rare for any professional athlete in just about any pro sport to agree such a long-term contract at such a (relatively) advanced age, so credit to Willian’s skills and the skills of Willian’s agent to pull this off.

As per ESPN, the Mail, and others, the terms of the deal include weekly wages of £100k, which is slightly below Willian’s last reported Chelsea wages (£120k or so), but not by a significant amount. The veteran former Brazil international thus gets to stay in London, as he wished, and once again gets to link up with his good friend David Luiz.

Good for them. (The move seems less wise for Arsenal, especially coming on the heels of wage cuts and now proposed layoffs, too, at the club, but that’s fortunately not our concern.)

Willian’s departure will deprive the squad of yet another experienced presence and a consistent performer, but that’s a natural part of the rebuilding process. Frank Lampard may have hoped to be able to count with Willian for a season or two more, but Chelsea were not willing to make that commitment, and at the end of the day, that’s a reasonable decision given the direction we’ve chosen for ourselves.

The move is set to be announced “later this month”, though there’s no word on whether this means that he will be available or willing to play this weekend.

Either way, thanks for the seven good years, Big Willi Style. Maybe Arsenal fans can update your song to still poke fun at Spurs.

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