Arsenal Legend Talks about Willian, Aubameyang, and Other Transfers


Ashley Cole believes that Willian is a shrewd business is a quality signing company that will improve Arsenal’s squad. At the same time, he warned that Arsenal needs to do whatever it can to retain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Brazil forward Willian made the short hop to Chelsea’s Emirates Stadium, ending a seven-year partnership with the Blues to pen a three-year deal with their London rivals.

Willian’s decision to end his time at Chelsea may have been partly influenced by Frank Lampard’s big-money additions to his squad.

It marks the first signing of the window for head coach Mikel Arteta ahead of what will be his first full season in charge.

Having won five major honors during his time with the Blues, Willian has the kind of pedigree that Arsenal is looking to start competing again among the top four and potentially earn continental success next term in the Europa League.

“You’ve got to take your hat off to Willian, first,” Cole told Stats Perform News. “He was a great servant for Chelsea. It’s not easy to stay in one club for seven years but he did that and brought a lot of trophies to Chelsea.

“He performed very well over those seven years and at times this season he was their best player. At the end of the day the club decided that he could go and he decided to go to Arsenal.

“Many Chelsea fans will wish him well because he was a great servant and now he will help improve the squad at Arsenal.”

But Cole, who represented both clubs during his glittering career and won the Europa League with Chelsea, says convincing prolific striker Aubameyang to extend a contract that runs out next June remains an important target for Arteta.

Per Cole, tying captain Aubameyang to a new deal remains vital to the chances of success for Gunners:

“Aubameyang is also a great player and his goal ratio this season has proved how good he is.

“He’s very important to Arsenal’s success in the FA Cup this season and Arteta will of course want to stay with his top players while adding a little more quality.

“They did that with the signing of the Willian, so Arteta’s going to know that he wants to keep him and get in better players to add to that squad. It’s important that they keep him but Arteta and Aubameyang are down to that.”

The Spaniard coach (Arteta) led Arsenal to final glory against Chelsea in the FA Cup, aiming to improve on a Premier League eighth-place finish.

And former England International Cole is delighted to see a generation that he has played with and against given top-level opportunity:

“You never know as young coaches until you put yourself in these situations. Arteta has done a tremendous job transforming Arsenal into playing good football, making them look good.

Chelsea may have lost the FA Cup final but in Lampard’s maiden campaign as boss, he managed to secure a top-four finish in the Premier League:

“Lampard did the same with a couple of young players. I think it’s a good sign that, without much experience, the owners and chairmen are giving young coaches a chance. But young coaches cannot gain experience unless an opportunity is given to them.”

Finally, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner arrived to Arsenal from Ajax and RB Leipzig respectively.

Also, the attacking midfielder Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen continues to be linked with a switch to Stamford Bridge.

Cole, now working as an academy coach at Chelsea, hopes to see the exciting talent Havertz as part of a new-look attack at Stamford Bridge.

“Frank’s had a brilliant first season, adding two players, and perhaps Havertz too,” he said. “Our threat to attack is stunning and the fans are going to be happy.

“Hopefully they can add Havertz to make their attacking threat even more potent. It’s a young squad, adding up young players who are of the highest quality and played in top leagues.

“It is good to see them in Chelsea and hopefully they will be able to integrate quickly into the team ahead of next season.”


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