Willian is a better player than Arsenal record signing Nicolas Pepe and presents an upgrade to Mikel Arteta's squad former Gunner Perry Groves has said.
Arsenal are reportedly on the verge of sealing a move for the Brazilian forward’s free transfer from Chelsea.
Speaking to a British radio on Wednesday, Groves did not hesitate to praise Willian's ability compared to the Ivorian.
“Pepe has got great potential but he’s not on Willian’s level of consistently delivering. Willian would make Arsenal a stronger team, it’s a no-brainer,” he said.
Perry, a two-time league champion with the Gunners, also said that Willian's injury record is a positive thing and will be consistent throughout the season.
“You say he’s 31, in my day that’s when you retired, but he could play until he’s 33 or 34 because modern players look after themselves.
“And if you look at his injury record, over the last seven years he’s averaged 33 or 34 games a season, so he’s not injury prone, he’s consistent, his attitude is very good and he’s proven in the Premier League, so the risk is low and the rewards could be very good.
“Is he better than what Arsenal have got at the moment in that position? I’d say yes. He’s experienced.”
Willian has spent seven years with the Blues, winning two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and the Europa League, but he wanted a new three-year contract to extend his stay – something Chelsea were reluctant to offer a player who turns 32 later this week.