Football News

Super agent Kia Joorabchian slams Arsenal’s handling of Willian: He went there for the project, but the project wasn’t there

By Ben Green

Published: 17:06, 31 August 2021 | Updated: 17:34, 10 September 2021

Willian’s agent Kia Joorabchian has hit out at Arsenal after his client cancelled his contract two years early in north London.

The Brazilian winger joined the Gunners from cross-city rivals Chelsea last summer, but has now left the Emirates just 12 months after signing a three-year deal and secured a return to Corinthians — his boyhood club — on a free transfer.

It is believed the 33-year-old has walked away from £20.5m after terminating his £240,000-a-week deal in order to facilitate a move back to Brazil to join the Sao Paulo-based club, whom he represented 41 times between 2006 and 2007.


“Following positive and constructive recent discussions with him and his team, he will be leaving for a new opportunity with Corinthians in Brazil, where he began his career,” an Arsenal club statement read.

“Everyone at Arsenal wishes Willian and his family well for the future.”

Willian was a highly influential player across the M25 at Stamford Bridge, winning two Premier League titles for Chelsea, as well as an FA Cup, a League Cup and the 2019 Europa League, in which he turned out over 300 times for the Blues across seven years.

However, the tricky winger was unable to replicate that form in the red and white of Arsenal, instead registering just one goal in 37 appearances last season, as Mikel Arteta’s men failed to secure European football and often flattered to deceive.

Following a busy summer for the Gunners, Willian has now decided to terminate his contract and part ways, but not without his agent Joorabchian getting a last word in, with the 50-year-old slamming Arteta’s lack of a “project”, which was initially presented to his client.

He told talkSPORT: “Yes, it (the numbers) is true, it’s mostly accurate. I’m not going to reveal numbers exactly, but the reports are pretty much accurate.

“Previously players, especially at Arsenal, have sat their contracts out, but he wasn’t one of them.


“When he joined, he sincerely joined because he was very much at the centre of Arteta’s thinking.

“Arteta make several presentations to Willian and made it clear he would be the focus point of how he would build the team around him.

“Willian had an offer from Chelsea to extend for two more years, but he wanted three years and he made the move. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out for him.

“He was getting very heavily criticised over why he made the move here, but none of the things that have been suggested have not been the case.”

Joorabchian went on to add that Willian is not the only player to join Arsenal in recent years and struggle to find their form at the Emirates, explaining that there is a wider problem at the club regarding recruitment and performance.

He continued: “I spoke to Arsenal. I had a meeting with Arteta and Edu, they explained this has not gone well and I spoke to Willian.

“I don’t think it benefits any part to just let someone sit there for the sake of sitting there. When things go wrong, both sides should consider the fact it’s gone wrong and you need to find a solution.

“I think Willian did the right thing, he went for the project and the project wasn’t there.

“Unfortunately, I’d have to say, which player has moved to Arsenal that has not been a disaster in the last couple of years? That one I speak as a fan.

“I don’t think this is about Willian. I think something has gone wrong [at Arsenal] and this is just one piece of the puzzle.”