Paul Merson believes Willian looks ‘lost’ at Arsenal and has questioned the club’s use of star forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a wide role.
The north London side have notably struggled in attack with a number of forward players out-of-form, including summer signing Willian who has endured an underwhelming start since signing from Chelsea on a free transfer – failing to provide a single goal or assist since creating two goals on the opening day of the season at Fulham.
Willian – who could miss this weekend’s clash with Leeds following a trip to Dubai during the international break – has failed to make an impact and his performances have been in stark contrast to his displays at Chelsea last season, with Merson admitting the Brazilian winger has looked ‘lost’ since crossing the capital.
‘I think I’m seeing things at the moment,’ Merson told Sky Sports.
‘Willian was unbelievable at Chelsea last year. For me, he was probably one of the best Chelsea players. He was phenomenal – an outstanding talent.
‘He has gone to Arsenal and he looks lost. They have got to get him performing.
Merson was also critical of the club’s use of Aubameyang, with last season’s leading scorer having largely been deployed on the left-hand side since Mikel Arteta’s arrival at the Emirates.
Last season saw the Gabon international score 22 league goals and impress in a wide role, but he has struggled to replicate those performances this time around and has scored just twice in the current campaign.
Merson has expressed his concerns at the 31-year-old’s lack of involvement when playing wide and insists ‘something has got to change’ in a bid to help the forward rediscover his finest form.
‘When Aubameyang is out on the wing, he can go 15 minutes without touching the ball,” Merson continued.
‘You can’t have your star player going that long without touching the ball. How many goals would Jamie Vardy get for Leicester if you played him out on the left wing? Not as many as he gets now, that’s for sure.
‘Defences are starting to work him out. They are starting to nullify the threat from him from out wide and making life hard for him.
‘They are stopping the cut inside and shot into the far corner. Something has got to change. At the moment, he’s not seeing enough of the ball where it matters.’