Willian’s time at Arsenal was this week recalled in the Brazilian media.

Interviewed by ESPN Brasil, the winger talked about what brought him to the Gunners, and what made him leave the club after just one season.

Starting with his arrival, Willian insists he had the desire to join Arsenal and spoke to club bosses to make that happen.

“I arrived when Arsenal was going through an overhaul, changing a lot of things internally, and I arrived in the middle of it. I’d wanted to go there, I’d spoken to Arteta too, to Edu. I arrived motivated, very happy and, as time went by, things didn’t work out the way we’d hoped for various reasons,” Willian told ESPN Brasil.

That’s when he decided it was time to go, and even though some tried to convince him to stay, that didn’t change his mind.

“When it came to the end of the first season, I spoke to them and said: I don’t think it’s going to work out here. I’m a player who needs to feel happy where I am, and here I can’t find myself. So we decided to terminate my contract, but Arsenal always wanted me to stay, to try for another year. I think the main factor was that I caught the club in the middle of a revamp, changing everything.

“A lot of people have said: ‘Wait a bit longer, have a bit of patience’. But you know when you’re not feeling happy? When you’re in a place just for the money, it’s not very enjoyable, you know? Going somewhere just for the contract. And I’m not that kind of person, I have to feel good.”

Willian had joined Arsenal in 2020, after spending seven years at Chelsea. In his year with the Gunners, he had one goal and seven assists in 37 appearances. He then decided to leave the Premier League and make a return home, but his experience there wasn’t great either.

“I always said that I didn’t want to go back to Brazil, that it wasn’t the right time. And then that time at Arsenal came and things changed. I felt encouraged to come back at that moment, not least because of my Corinthian family, to come back to the club that revealed me. Suddenly everyone knows what happened off the pitch and it didn’t work out. I ended up leaving Corinthians and going back to England. It’s difficult for a player to leave England and come back again. And I came back. I think it was a learning experience too.”

Now after a couple of years at Fulham, Willian has ten goals and seven assists in 67 appearances. There’s still no decision about his future, even though the club are expected to make a move to renew his contract for another year.