Paul Merson thinks the decision to allow Willian to join Arsenal on a free transfer was a poor one by Chelsea.
The Brazil forward, who turned 32 recently, was out of contract following a seven-year stay at Stamford Bridge.
Willian won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, a League Cup and the Europa League with Chelsea and said he would depart with his “head held high”.
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There had been lots of speculation that Willian will join Arsenal this summer on a free transfer after the Blues refused to give him the three-year contract that he wanted.
Willian produced a brilliant performance as Arsenal beat Fulham 3-0 in their opening Premier League match of the season and Merson can’t believe that Chelsea allowed him to leave.
Merson told Sky Sports: “I can’t believe Chelsea let Willian go. I know they’ve gone out and get special players, but there’s nothing to say they’re going to hit the ground running.
“In Willian, you’ve got someone there who is ready-made. I like who they’ve signed, but they cost a lot of money, and their wages are probably the same as Willian.
“Frank Lampard has now. He hasn’t got four years. That’s management, I’m not being horrible. Even if Frank wins the league this year, it doesn’t mean he’s going to be there in four years’ time! We know that, and how it changes.
“Who is to say this isn’t going to take time for Chelsea? And I don’t think they’ve got time at the moment.”