in

Arsenal news: Mikel Arteta speaks out on Willian’s performance in Man City loss

The Brazilian had an underwhelming match playing an unfamiliar role (Picture: Getty Images)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has defended Willian’s performance against Manchester City in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at the Etihad and says the Brazilian could play as a centre-forward again in the future.

Summer signing Willian rather surprisingly lined up through the middle against City, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on the left, Nicolas Pepe on the right and two strikers left on the bench.

But Willian had an ineffective evening and was eventually removed from his position through the middle, with Arsenal immediately improving, and many fans questioned both his role in the side and selection ahead of players like Eddie Nketiah and Alexandre Lacazette.

Willian struggled to impact the match playing as a centre-forward (Picture: Getty)

But Arteta was happy with what he saw from Willian and believes he will grow into the role, suggesting it may not be the last time the 32-year-old lines up through the middle.

Asked about Willian’s unusual position against City, Arteta explained: ‘We need to have the versatility to play in different formations, occupying different…