Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta confirmed in his press conference today that Joe Willock will stay at the Emirates next season.
The 21-year-old has had a stunning few months on loan at Newcastle United. He has almost single-handedly saved the Magpies from relegation this season by scoring seven goals in 10 starts, six of which have come in his last six appearances.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has been going on and on about his desire to sign Willock on a permanent deal. Reports have even claimed that Arsenal would consider selling him, but if Arteta’s latest comments are anything to go by, he’s going nowhere.
He said, as per Arsenal.com: “I am really happy that things have gone so well because of the potential that he has.
“I think it was great for him to go away and have a different experience. He has grabbed that opportunity in a really positive and remarkable way and he will come back to us, we will have a conversation with him and plan the next years for him.”
Asked whether Willock will definitely be an Arsenal player next season, he said: “For sure, because he’s got a contract and that’s going to be here. That’s for sure.”
Does Joe Willock have a future under Mikel Arteta at Arsenal?
Willock really has a difficult decision to make this summer. He knows he will be a guaranteed starter if he goes back to Newcastle United, but he’s Arsenal through and through and that will play a part.
Arteta sent him out on loan in January as he couldn’t offer him any game time at the Emirates. That, however, will surely change next season when multiple Arsenal midfielders will move on.
Dani Ceballos, Martin Odegaard, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are all expected to leave the club. Granit Xhaka and Willian have been linked with a move away as well, which opens up a lot of room.
Willock deserves a chance at the Emirates and now that there’s plenty of room to accommodate him, he should stay. He has shown that he can deliver against some of the biggest teams in the country, and it’s definitely not beyond him to do the same in Arsenal’s colours next season.
Arteta and Arsenal simply have to keep hold of Willock this summer.
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