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Willian pre-season picture explained after Arsenal fans slam winger

Arsenal fans were unhappy with Willian's apparent physique during their first pre-season friendly

Arsenal fans were unhappy with Willian’s apparent physique during their first pre-season friendly

Willian came under fire this week as Arsenal fans slammed the winger for his physique during their pre-season friendly against Hibernian.

Mikel Arteta’s side were beaten 2-1 at Easter Road in their opening pre-season fixture on Tuesday.

But Willian was the source of frustration for many Arsenal fans as images from the game appeared to show the Brazilian out of condition.

However, appearances can be deceiving as pictures from Thursday’s training session showed Willian with a completely leaner physique.

So what had changed within 48 hours? Well, according to supporters who had attended Arsenal’s first pre-season match at Easter Road, Willian was wearing a weighted vest underneath his shirt which he removed after he was substituted at half time.

The 32-year-old was then seen putting the vest back on for the warm-down session after the match had ended.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - JULY 15: Willian of Arsenal during a training session at Orium Performance Centre on July 15, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Willian without the vest in Arsenal training on Thursday (Getty)

Arsenal remain open to allowing Willian to leave this summer in order to free up their wage bill.

The Brazilian joined on a free transfer last summer and was handed a three-year contract worth around £220,000 a week, which makes him one of the squad’s highest earners.

In his first season, Willian scored just one goal and registered five assists as the Gunners finished eighth in the Premier League.

Inter Miami had registered their interest in signing Willian this summer but the Brazilian’s high wage demands mean that the MLS side are unable to reach an agreement.

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