David Luiz says Willian “doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone” as he continues to scratch around for form at Arsenal.
The Gunners were considered to have pulled off quite a coup when luring the Brazil international onto their books in the summer of 2020.
After seven years at Chelsea, which delivered two Premier League titles, the 32-year-old crossed London to take on a new challenge at Emirates Stadium.
His experience was expected to be put to good use by Mikel Arteta, but Willian has struggled to make an impact at Arsenal – leading to him coming in for plenty of criticism.
Luiz claims to have no doubts that his fellow countryman will come good, with the Gunners defender backing a proven performer to rediscover his spark if a little patience is shown.
“Few people know the person Willian. But those who do know can’t say they don’t love him. Because everyone loves him as a person,” Luiz told ESPN Brasil.
“Everyone knows the player Willian. And everyone knows Willian’s potential. And he doesn’t have to prove anything to anyone after so many years at the highest level. And he’s in a moment which is not so pleasant on the individual level because things are not happening.
“But he’s an experienced, intelligent guy, who knows what he should know, and what he must do every day.
“You don’t see Willian murmuring about training, you don’t see Willian not training. He’s always dedicated, he’s looking for the best, to improve, to grow. You don’t see Willian with an ugly face on the bench. All those things.
“So he’s a guy who will get through this, he will get through this moment and he’ll still bring a lot of joy to Arsenal, to this club. Because there’s this turbulence, just as I had in the first few months.
“It’s not easy, you change clubs, from one rival to another, you have all the cannons facing you. Everything you do people will compare [to what you’d done before].
“Supporters on one side who loved you are sad because you left and are nervous. Supporters on the other side, who cheered against you, are like, ‘I’m not going to like this guy who came from the other side’.
“You end up feeling, in a way, just a little unsure until you adapt. My first months weren’t easy, and that’s what I try to pass on to Willian. ‘Calm down, things will work out, things will happen. Just keep working because you’re you, there’s no way to change. You’re a great person and you’re a great player. Calm down. Things are going to happen’.
“That’s what we try. Everyone already loves Willian here, so I know that things will happen in the best possible way soon.”