Despite doubts about their futures at Arsenal, Mikel Arteta believes Bernd Leno and Willian will both return for next season.
More players are expected to leave now that David Luiz’s summer departure has been confirmed. Willian, a former Chelsea teammate of the Brazilian, is one of them. Arsenal are waiting for ‘official offers,’ according to Fabrizio Romano, amid interest from Europe and the MLS.
Willian only signed a three-year deal on a free transfer from Chelsea last year, so the news came as a surprise. His performances, on the other hand, have fallen short of expectations.
“First of all we signed a player with an incredible talent, a proven talent, and performance level in this league, and this season has been difficult,”said Arteta about Willian’s future on the club’s website.
“I take full responsibility because I have to be the one getting the best out of him and we had moments but not to the level that he did before.
“This is an assessment that we will do individually with the players and with Edu, the board and the ownership to make the right decisions for the future.”
When asked if he expects Willian to stay, Arsenal manager said:
“Every player that is under contract is very likely to be here with us next season.”
Meanwhile, Leno denied on Monday that he is looking for a summer exit. Arteta’s first-choice goalkeeper is under contract until 2023, just like Willian.
“It’s another one with a contract here that, because of the length of his contract, a lot of things will be speculated on,”Arteta said on Leno.
“He has two years here, and he belongs here.”