Arsenal have signed midfielder Willian for a free transfer after leaving Chelsea, the club said.

32-year-old Willian ended his seven-year tenure at Stamford Bridge and signed a three-year deal with the Gunners.

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Earlier this month, sources told ESPN that Willian had signed a £ 100,000-a-week deal after the collapse of negotiations with Chelsea.

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“I think he’s a player who can really make a difference for us,” said Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta. “We have been monitoring him for the past few months. We had a clear intention of strengthening the positions of the attacking midfielder and winger.” [and] He’s a player who gives us a lot of versatility. He can play in three or four different positions.

“He has the experience of everything in the football world, but still has the ambition to come here and help get the club where it belongs. I was really impressed with all the conversations I had with him and how much he wanted to come. “

Arteta wants to strengthen its squad before next season. William Saliba joined them after Pablo Mari and Cedric Soares signed permanent contracts in June.

Arsenal’s FA Cup final win over Chelsea, which Willian missed because of an Achilles injury, means he can at least offer Europa League football for the next season.

Willian won two Premier League titles, the Europa League, the FA Cup and the League Cup while at Chelsea.

Arteta’s attempts to strengthen his roster this summer come amid heavy criticism of the club after it was announced that 55 employees will be laid off.