Willian’s unveiling photos as an Arsenal player were reportedly taken at the home of his agent Kia Joorabchian rather than at the training ground or Emirates Stadium to ‘minimise the risk of spreading Covid-19’.
The Athletic report that while it is customary for a new signing to be photographed at the Emirates Stadium or at their London Colney training ground, Willian was instead captured in the shirt on an outdoor area at Joorabchian’s house.
One former staff member said in that report that ‘the optics of that would have really bothered the Kroenkes’.
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One image shows Willian sat on an outside sofa with his feet up, with some plants seen in the background, a clear indicator it was neither the stadium or the training facility.
On the continent it is more common for players to be photographed away from club property but the report goes on to add that many at Arsenal found it ‘deeply uncomfortable’.
Willian has joined Arsenal on a free transfer from Chelsea, agreeing a £220,000-a-week deal in north London.
Joorabchian represents a number of players now at Arsenal and has been viewed as a figure with growing influence at the Emirates Stadium.
He has often been spotted in one of the directors’ boxes at the Emirates in recent months and has often spoken out on the club’s transfer policy.
The agent represents David Luiz, Cedric Soares as well as Willian but he is adamant that his influence over signings is overstated.
In an interview last week with talkSPORT, Joorabchian denied having any undue influence over transfers at the Emirates Stadium before taking aim at Sven Mislintat, who worked for the Gunners in recruitment from 2017 to 2019.
The 49-year-old Joorabchian is known to have close relationships with several members of Arsenal’s hierarchy, most notably with the former head of football Raul Sanllehi and technical director Edu, who have helped bring in a number of big signings in the past year.