Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock has become a household name over the last few months thanks to his incredible performances out on loan at Newcastle United.
The young Englishman scored eight goals for the Magpies in 11 starts, including seven strikes in a row, which helped him get his name into the Premier League record books.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has been very vocal about his desire to sign Willock on a permanent deal this summer. There have been conflicting reports about Arsenal’s stance, but if latest developments are taken into account, Mikel Arteta might block all offers for the young midfielder.
Granit Xhaka leaving Arsenal is good news for Joe Willock
The Swiss international has arguably been Arteta’s first name on the team sheet over the last 18 months, but it looks like that story is coming to an end.
Gazzetta dello Sport revealed last week that Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma are keen to sign Xhaka, and the midfielder has reportedly given his green light as well. That is a surprise to many people, but it really does look like he will move on in the coming days.
That leaves Arsenal in a difficult position, but Xhaka’s departure could open the door for young Willock, who will now have a spot available in Arteta’s squad for next season.
The 21-year-old, labelled as ‘remarkable’ by Arteta, is by no means a direct replacement to Xhaka. Arsenal may well need two players to fill in the void that the Swiss international is set to leave at the Emirates. That will not be easy for Edu and Arteta considering our financial woes ahead of the summer window.
Willock could easily fill half of that void. Yes, the Englishman doesn’t quite have the passing range or positional discipline or defensive awareness that Xhaka does, but he offers a lot that the Swiss international cannot.
The Englishman can drive with the ball from one end of the pitch to the other. His dribbling skills are very impressive and unlike Xhaka, he has shown that he can score regularly in the Premier League as well.
That should convince Arteta to give Willock a ring in the coming days to deliver the amazing news that he will stay at Arsenal and get regular minutes in the middle of the park next season.