Willian has admitted that he “wasn’t happy” at Arsenal while explaining his decision to rejoin Corinthians.
Arsenal initially snapped Willian up on a free transfer in the summer of 2020 after his departure from Chelsea, where he had established himself as one of the most consistent midfielders in the Premier League.
The Brazilian was handed a three-year contract at Emirates Stadium but failed to reach the same high standards in his first season with the Gunners, and ultimately decided to cut short that agreement and head back to his homeland on deadline day.
Willian has now conceded that he didn’t enjoy his time with Arsenal and also claims to have chosen a return to Corinthians ahead of a number of other options due to his desire to be closer to his family.
“I really thought about it a lot together with my family and close friends. Unfortunately, my time at Arsenal was not good. I was not happy there,” the 33-year-old told Corinthians TV.
“I just wasn’t happy, but I will not go into details. But I thought that it was better to come back to Brazil. I looked into some other opportunities but I wanted to come back to Corinthians.
“I wanted to come back home to be near my family. A club that projected me to the world, that unveiled me and I think now was the right time to come back.”
Willian was a regular in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI throughout his short time with the Gunners, departing with 37 appearances to his name across all competitions.
The Brazil international was only able to record one goal and seven assists and was ultimately powerless to prevent Arsenal from slipping out of European competition for the first time in 25 years.
Willian was one of only two players to leave the Emirates on permanent deals in the summer window, with Joe Willock joining Newcastle for £26 million after a successful loan stint at St James’ Park.
Arsenal did sanction a number of other loans, though, with the likes of Matteo Guendouzi, William Saliba, Hector Bellerin and Reiss Nelson heading off to other clubs for the 2021-22 campaign.