Mikel Arteta has backed Willian to come good at Arsenal once the winger has fully adjusted to his team’s style of play.
The Brazil international strengthened Arteta’s attacking options when he joined the Gunners on a free transfer from Chelsea in August.
Willian started his Arsenal career brightly with two assists on his Premier League debut for the club in a 3-0 victory over Fulham on the opening weekend of the season.
But the 32-year-old, who signed a three-year deal, has yet to contribute directly to any more goals in five league appearances since then, having struggled with a calf injury.
Arsenal manager Arteta, however, remains confident Willian will prove his worth.
“He’s getting better and better,” Arteta said at a media conference ahead of his side’s Premier League clash with Aston Villa on Sunday.
“I can see a development in the last few games. The things I asked him to do are probably different to things that he’s used to.
“We all know the qualities he has and he’s a great option to have. I think he started really well in the first game against Fulham, then we changed from the three [up front].
“They [Arsenal’s attacking players] need to generate that relationship, the understanding on the pitch between the front players, the wide players, for those things to work better.”
Villa are the only side yet to concede away from home in the Premier League this season ahead of the clash at the Emirates Stadium.
Yet Dean Smith’s side have shipped seven goals in their last two home games and Arteta believes Willian can cause them more problems.
“I think he’s a player that can make the difference,” added Arteta.
“He’s got that ability to find the last action, to open the door when everything is really tight – to score a goal, create an assist.
“The personality that he has on the pitch, to manage the game the way we need to in some moments – at Old Trafford against Manchester United I think he did that really well.”