In his press conference today, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was asked about his decision to sell Joe Willock to Newcastle United.
The Englishman has been at Arsenal ever since he was four. He came through the ranks at Hale End and everyone associated with the club was convinced that he would end up having a fine career at the top level.
Willock spent the second half of last season on loan at Newcastle and he was brilliant there. He was among the best players in the country in the final few weeks of last term, and it is no surprise that the Magpies were desperate to sign him back.
Many Arsenal fans felt that Willock deserved a chance at Arsenal this season. Our lack of options in the middle of the park opened the door for him as well, but Arteta decided to sell him, and he has now explained why.
Mikel Arteta: Why Arsenal sold Joe Willock
He said, as per Arsenal.com: “Well, we’ve seen Joe here for a long time in different stages of his career and Joe is a player that we valued and we liked so much.
“After that spell, obviously, his profile changed, his ambitions personally changed, and the game time that he needed was very different to what we could give him in this moment. We made a decision together to decide the best way for his pathway in his career.”
It really is a shame that Willock couldn’t fulfil his life-long dream of succeeding at Arsenal. However, he has made everyone associated with the club proud, and even though he’s gone now, he’ll always be a Gooner.
As for Arsenal, Arteta and Edu, it was a decision that we simply had to make. Yes, keeping hold of Willock when we are short of options in midfield would’ve been ideal. However, he had just two years left on his contract and considering that, we simply couldn’t refuse the offer that arrived.
Arsenal seem to have used the money that has come in from Willock’s sale well. We completed the signing of Martin Odegaard on a permanent deal this morning, and as much as we all love Joe, we’ve got to admit that selling him has worked out for all parties.