John Barnes has insisted that Arsenal, not Willian, are to blame for the Brazilian’s slow start at the club.
Willian has struggled to make an impact since joining the Gunners from Chelsea.
But former England and Liverpool star Barnes told BonusCodeBets: “As a player, Willian has always had a good attitude, he works hard and gives 100% for the team.
“A three-year contract for Mesut Ozil was a much bigger mistake given his lack of involvement within the team, and this season. Willian has come to an inconsistent team, it’s not the player himself that is at fault but the team he is in.
“If Willian went to a consistent team that was performing well every week, he would be a fantastic player and a great addition to the squad. It is on Arsenal and Mikel Arteta to try and get the most out of him.
“Looking at his age now, Liverpool probably wouldn’t want him, but a few years ago he would have been a perfect fit and exactly what Liverpool needed.
“Once Arsenal start to perform so will he (Willian) and the whole club will be in a much better place. Willian was never going to be the main man at Arsenal, he needs to come to a team that is playing well and then he will add to that.”
Barnes also believes that Arsenal boss Arteta needs to find the right balance between attack and defence.
He said: “Arsenal have to get the balance right. Thet used to be a creative side conceding too many goals and weak in the midfield area.
“With Thomas Partey coming in, he is not the most creative player, but defensively he brings something new to Arsenal.
“In the forward positions, with Aubameyang, Lacazette and Willian, they are trying to find the right formula. They had a great result against Manchester United away from home which not a lot of people expected, so it’s not as if they haven’t played well.
“Arsenal need to find consistency and an identity of how they are going to play, which they haven’t yet found.”