Mikel Arteta has launched a staunch defence of Willian, saying the Brazilian is "starting to produce" the goods for Arsenal.
Willian joined Arsenal from Chelsea last summer, but has struggled to replicate the form he showed at Stamford Bridge.
He has come in for some fierce criticism, as he is still to register a goal for the club and has fashioned only three assists so far this term.
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Willian climbed off the bench against Benfica in the Europa League on Thursday and fashioned an assist for Kieran Tierney, and Gunners boss Arteta is hopeful it will act as a springboard for the 32-year-old.
"He is a player who we all like," Arteta told Sky Sports of Willian. "His team-mates like him and we were expecting many more things from him since he joined but for many different reasons he hasn't found his best performances.
"But hopefully Thursday's performance is going to give him the platform and belief that he is a really important player - he is a player I really like and I did a lot to bring him in and hopefully he can still give us more.
I was really pleased with Willian on Thursday and he totally deserves some credit because of the way he trains every day and he is trying.
"In games now you can see that he is starting to produce what we think he can do for the team so everyone has to step up and create big moments in games because the front players in the end have to be the ones that decide the game for us."
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Arsenal travel to Leicester on Sunday looking to bolster their outside hopes of snatching a place in the Premier League’s top four.
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