It’s now getting fair to say that Willian’s return to Corinthians hasn’t gone as expected.
The winger made his comeback to Brazil after rescinding his contract with Arsenal at the end of August. He joined his former club for free and had big expectations around him.
Since the move, Willian missed a couple of games to get in shape. Then he finally made his debut and had a sequence of four starts, being replaced at half-time against Bahia on the 6th of October.
With a muscle comfort diagnosed, he missed the game against Sport last weekend, and even though he was given the green light to start against Fluminense last night, he was replaced after only seven minutes and left the pitch in tears. Now he’s doubtful for the derby against São Paulo on Monday.
The local media has now been pressing the situation, with UOL columnist Ricardo Perrone claiming Corinthians must ‘investigate’ what’s been happening with the player since he left Arsenal. After last night’s game, manager Sylvinho talked about the issue.
“Whether he was fit for 90 minutes, we didn’t know. It’s a construction period, these athletes are not machines. Those who have arrived need a period of adaptation. Willian has been away for a long time, so we’re going very carefully,” said Sylvinho (via Globo Esporte).
“But, of course, every athlete who goes to the pitch is at risk. Willian is experienced, we understand that it can be a discomfort, but we’ll understand better tomorrow. But it’s part of the construction period, so we’re going carefully to get them in better condition. We hope it’s nothing.”
Following the Arsenal departure, Willian many times claimed he wasn’t happy at the Gunners and turned down a lot of money so he play for his childhood club again. Now he goes through a worrying situation and works to turn things around before he can be called a flop in Brazil.
While on the pitch, the 33-year-old has at times displayed quality and shown he can help Corinthians, but the physical situation must be sorted out as soon as possible.