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Report: Arsenal youngster set to remain with club next season; was targeted by 12th-place side

Joe Willock is set to remain with Arsenal this season despite heavy interest from Newcastle United.

According to the Northern Echo, the Gunners will retain the Hale End academy graduate ahead of next campaign.

Willock spent half of last season on loan with Newcastle and made an immediate impact with the northeast club.

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Willock broke the record for the youngest player in Premier League history to score in seven consecutive games. In total, the attacking midfielder scored eight times for the Magpies.

The midfielder was subject to heavy interest from Newcastle this summer. However, with pre-season starting today, it is looking more likely that Willock will be staying with Arsenal this campaign.

The club are lacking in attacking midfielders, with Emile Smith Rowe the only player who can operate in the role besides Willock.

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Arsenal are reportedly keen on the likes of Martin Odegaard and Houssem Aouar. But nothing concrete appears to be happing just now.

Given how impressive the England U-21 international was for Newcastle last season, there’s a good chance Mikel Arteta has been impressed with what he’s seen in Willock over the past six months.

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With the search for a creative midfielder stalling in recent weeks, Arteta could be trying a new tact where he wants to test how Willock does in the Arsenal XI in pre-season.

Indeed, the youngster more than earned his stripes last season with Newcastle as the midfielder scored against the likes of Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City.

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And for Arsenal, Willock could be an in-house solution to a big problem.

The Gunners failed to score many goals from midfield last season. And Willock’s exploits for Newcastle could well translate into more impressive form for Arsenal, especially with the likes of Smith Rowe, Nicolas Pepe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang working alongside the England youth star.

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