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Arsenal legend Lee Dixon says if he was playing behind Willian, he’d be fuming with the Gunners winger passing backwards and losing possession.
The Brazilian has largely struggled since moving to the Emirates on a free transfer back in the summer. Willian agreed a three-year deal with the Gunners worth around £200,000-a-week after his contract at Chelsea expired.
The 32-year-old registered three assists on his debut against Fulham in September, but hasn’t managed to build on that impressive display.
And former Gunners full-back Dixon admitted he’d have some strong advice for Willian if he was the defender playing behind him.
‘If you’ve got somebody playing against you that passes the ball backwards all the time then happy days,’ Dixon told The Athletic’s Handbrake Off podcast.
‘What you don’t want him to do is turn around [and face you], especially the player of his ability.
‘He’s probably the best in world football at that little standing still in front of a full-back, opening himself up to the right and getting a cross in. He’s brilliant at that.
‘The fact that he’s not doing that, that’s down to him and the team.
‘If I was playing behind him and he was doing that, I’d be like, “Why are we paying you £200,000 a week? Get yourself up there and make my job a lot easier. I’ve got to chase back now because you passed it backwards”.
‘There’s got to be that going on on the pitch. Is that going on? I doubt it. ‘I know the game has changed and I’m not stupid enough to believe some of my antics would’ve gone down particularly well in that changing room, but I wouldn’t have cared. The team’s more important to me than Willian’s feelings.’