Former Arsenal star Paul Merson has offered some transfer advice to Joe Willock ahead of crunch talks with Mikel Arteta, Edu and the club in the coming weeks.
The 21-year-old was sent out on loan to Newcastle United in January and he became a star there. Willock ended up breaking club icon Alan Shearer’s record by scoring in seven consecutive games, which is a stunning achievement.
Arteta, who labelled Willock’s progress as ‘remarkable‘, now has a decision to make. The Arsenal boss has to decide if he wants to keep the midfielder in his squad for next season or cash in on him when his stock is still high thanks to his outstanding recent performances in the Premier League.
Paul Merson: Joe Willock has to fight for his place at Arsenal
Merson has urged Willock to come back and fight for a place at Arsenal.
He told Sky Sports, as per Football London: “Three weeks ago maybe, you’re looking and thinking, what’s he gone there for, he’s a sub for Newcastle now. Now, he’s just beat the record [by becoming the youngest player to score in seven consecutive games].
“If he comes back now, he’s got to be in the team.
“I would come back and have a go. I would 100% come back and say, ‘you know what, I want to give it a go at Arsenal’, and if he isn’t in the team in six months, your agent goes in, or he goes in and goes ‘you know what, I’m never gonna make it at Arsenal.'”
The Insider’s View:
With Arsenal expected to be very light in central midfield next season, Willock is bound to get some game time. He will then have to reproduce what he did for Newcastle United, which will ultimately determine his future.
Merson’s advice is spot on. Willock will have a much better idea about his future in six months time. He will be in a better position to decide what’s best for him then, and he should give his all for Arsenal in the meantime.
Willock has been at the club for almost all of his life and he is Arsenal through and through. He would love to be a star at his boyhood club, but for that to happen, he has to stay and fight for a place in Arteta’s side next season.
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