Willian agreed to cancel his contract in north London before returning to his native Brazil, writes the Express.
Didier Drogba has had his say on social media about Willian’s departure from Arsenal. In surprising fashion, the Brazilian winger agreed to terminate his lucrative contract with the Gunners, paving the way for a sentimental return to Corinthians.
Willian and Drogba have one season of career overlap after the latter signed up for a second spell at Chelsea in 2014/15.
The Brazilian went on to play five more seasons at Stamford Bridge, before switching to their cross-city rivals.
Chelsea legend Drogba was only too happy to see that spell come to an end before deadline day, with the striker branding him ‘agent Willian’ after negotiating his own exit.
Drogba also said: “Oh Willyyyyyyyyyyyyyy haaaaaaaannnnnnnnnn. Come back home,” followed by a series of laughing emojis.
With mixed reaction to the Tweet, the former Chelsea man later added: “I’ll always hope that CFC players who gave us joy come back to play or work for Chelsea, but my previous tweet was a banter between us.
“Thank you agent Willian, your mission is over.”
Clearly, Drogba was not shy in expressing his happiness at Arsenal’s loss, perhaps not surprising given that the dominant forward loved playing against the Gunners, scoring 13 goals against them during his career.
It has to be said, however, that Arsenal were most likely happy to see him go given that he was picking up a reported £240,000-a-week.
That is crazy money for a player who only notched one Premier League goal last season, and Willian’s contract in north London still had two years left to run.
All told, the 33-year-old’s exit will save the Gunners £20million over the next two seasons, crucial for a side who have just committed to their biggest ever summer transfer outlay.
Yet another twist to this unusual transfer saga is the fact that Willian committed to a 70% pay-cut to return to Corinthians, the club he left 14 years ago to join Shakhtar Donetsk.
Clearly, the tricky winger has banked enough during his spell in London to round off his playing career on his own terms.
Alternatively, he could have read the writing already on the wall, with Martin Odegaard in, Emile Smith-Rowe on the up and more to come from Nicolas Pepe, all that lay in wait for Willian this campaign was surely a bit-part role.
All things considered, Willian’s self-negotiated exit is beneficial for both parties going forward, although that did not stop Drogba having one last dig at his old foes.
Whether the former team-mates will cross paths in the future remains to be seen, but there is plenty of quality left in Willian’s feet to tear it up in Brazil for at least a couple more years.