Willian hailed after superb Arsenal debut with Chelsea transfer mistake claim

Arsenal star Willian has been hailed by Peter Crouch following his successful debut for the Gunners. Willian joined Arsenal on a free transfer this summer after his contract expired at Chelsea. The Brazilian got his Gunners career off to a fine start with a couple of assists in the 3-0 opening day win over Fulham on Saturday.

Willian was given the nod ahead of Nicolas Pepe and Bukayo Saka on the right-hand side by Mikel Arteta.

The winger rejected Chelsea’s offers of a new contract as the west London club refused to give him a three-year deal.

Chelsea have since spent big in attacking areas, bringing in the likes of Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Kai Havertz.

But Crouch believes there will be disappointment at the Blues because they have strengthened a rival in Arsenal.

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“It’s a perfect day for them,” Crouch said on BT Sport.

“Him, [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang – it’s a top front three isn’t it and it’s capable of beating any defence.

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“He’ll be really pleased with his performance, I think Chelsea will be disappointed to see him go really.

“I know they’ve brought some players in but it’s strengthened a rival of theirs because it’s definitely going to help Arsenal. He was a class act again today.”

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Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand says Willian brings a little bit extra compared to Pepe and Saka.

Ferdinand said: “He’s come in and you’ve got to think of the likes of Saka, probably one of their most creative players last season, he’s on the bench.

“Pepe, £72m, but he’s added that little bit of class and experience etc.”

Goals from Lacazette, new-signing Gabriel Magalhaes and Aubameyang sealed a comfortable win for Arsenal at Craven Cottage.

And manager Arteta hailed the performance of his side after the match.

Arteta said: “I wanted to see my team determined with a lot of energy and do the things we did in training. We did it today.

“Gabriel didn’t play for six months before today. Mohamed Elneny was brilliant.

“He has been excellent in training since day one. I know him well – we played together. Today he was phenomenal. All the boys tried really hard.”

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