The Brazilian joined the Gunners from Chelsea in the summer of 2020 and while he arrived on a free transfer, his three-year contract was thought to be worth £220,000-a-week.
Mikel Arteta’s side endured a very disappointing season after Willian arrived and the Brazil international did not contribute a great deal, scoring just once in only 16 Premier League starts.
With two years left on his mammoth contract, it looked like the midfielder would be staying at the Emirates, even though he was clearly out of Arteta’s plans, but he instead chose to rip up his contract and return to Corinthians, where he started his career.
It was a decision which cost him a huge amount of money, but was born of his unhappiness at Arsenal.
‘I really thought a lot, together with my family and close people. Unfortunately, my time at Arsenal was not good, I wasn’t happy at the club,’ Willian told TV Corinthians.
‘I don’t need to go into details, but I wasn’t happy and I thought that returning to Brazil was the best option.
‘I studied some other opportunities, but I wanted to return to Corinthians, to my home, to be close to my family. It’s the club that projected me to the world, revealed me. The right time to come back was this.’
The 33-year-old made 37 appearances in total for the Gunners across all competitions, scoring just that solitary goal.
On his departure, Arsenal released a statement which read: ‘We have reached a mutual agreement with Willian to terminate his contract effective from today.
‘The Brazil international joined us from Chelsea last August and made 38 appearances during the 2020/21 campaign.
‘He had two more years to run on his contract but 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.
‘Everyone at Arsenal wishes Willian and his family well for the future.’
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