Willian has admitted it was a tough decision to swap Chelsea for Arsenal last summer.
The Brazilian midfielder has claimed he “really wanted to stay” at Stamford Bridge, but after failing to agree a new contract with the club, he decided to leave.
Willian joined the Gunners on a free transfer this summer and has failed to find the form that made him a popular figure at Chelsea.
The 32-year-old has failed to score for his new club, although he did provide an assist off the bench in Arsenal’s midweek fightback against Benfica in the Europa League.
“It was difficult to make that decision, it wasn’t easy,” he told UOL.
“Because, as you said, the rivalry between the two clubs is very big.
“It wasn’t an easy decision to leave Chelsea for Arsenal. It was well thought out, a thoughtful decision, talking to my wife and even the agent many times.
“And one of the things that made me decide to go to Arsenal was really the various conversations I had with Mikel Arteta, with Edu too. They convinced me to go there that it’d be a really cool project, that it’d be really good for me to be able to go there.”