Thursday, May 30, 2024

Willock closing in on Benfica switch

According to various reports, Chris Willock is in Portugal to finalise personal terms with Benfica.

The 19-year-old England youth international is a free agent at the end of this month having rejected the opportunity to sign a new deal at the Emirates. To date, he’s made two appearances for the senior side in the EFL Cup and been involved in consecutive pre-season tours.

It’s believed Benfica, who are offering the player a chance to start life in Portugal with their B side, beat off competition from Manchester City, Celtic and Borussia Dortmund for the teenager’s signature.

Arsenal should be entitled to a compensation payment having nurtured Willock’s talent for the best part of 15 years. However, losing one of the Academy’s most highly-ranked stars for next to nothing will no doubt rankle both in the boardroom and on the terraces.

Elsewhere, L’Equipe reports that Yaya Sanogo is being tracked by French side Toulouse having been released by Arsenal. The Gunners confirmed earlier this month that the striker would not be extending his stay at the Emirates after four injury-ravaged years.

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Bye Felicia


So I’m genuinely confused: boy deserves some credit for willingness to move abroad, and it’s not like a Portuguese side are likely to be offering him more money than us, so at least it’s not greed that’s motivating him, but surely a place in their B side is hardly moving up in the world, no? I get that he’ll have a better chance of cracking the first team there than here, but surely he would make our reserve team this year and, if he’s really as good as has often been reported, then he could expect to be given a… Read more »


A case of too many Willocks maybe? 2 bros in the 1st team is one thing but 3? Is he the least rated of his bros?

Andy Mack

One brother moved to Manchester a few years back (in their reserves I believe) and the other brother is likely to be leaving this summer as well (he hasn’t signed a new contract either).

Mr. G

So basically…the Willocks are pillocks?

It had to be said


Bit disconcerting were losing a player with a lot of potential, if City & Dortmund were after him too. Though maybe Arsenal are learning not to pay high wages to ‘talent’ who haven’t earned it quite yet.


We’ve been actively recruiting talented youngsters for the past 5 seasons so the competition to stand out must be intense. That’s probably why he left. We still have malen, nkitah, dragomir,the Jeff, nwakali, inanimate carbon rod so we’ll be fine.

North Bank Gooner

Shame, but if you are not prepared to fight for your place, and think that grass is greener……


So, our slothfulness in managing contracts has vitiated to the academy as well?


If it was one or two we could call it negligence. But to have 11 first teamers out of contract is just mind boggling ineffectiveness. and now academy players are following them too.

David C

somebody from England playing abroad? can’t be true 😉


Nah, he’ll probably be British like the rest of them 😀

Donald\'s Trump

Brexit means brexit.

Red white and blue brexit.

Going there, taking their jobs.

Merson\'s grin

Insert a buy-back clause please.


Can’t – he’s leaving on a free


Good for him for having the courage to move to Portugal.

What we need is a Director of Football to oversee situations like this and deal with the matter before it gets to this point.

Oh wait ! We thought of that and Arsene Mugabe didn’t like the idea so it was scrapped. Ah well….?

Andy Mack

Do you really think AW runs the youth set up?
Or are just so anti-aw that you’re pretending he is, so you can make a point…


If true wish him all the best and hope he reaches his full potential if not at arsenal then elsewhere…Let’s hope Reiss Nelson kicks on and becomes the player we all want him to be.

Burn Baby Burn

Why am I enjoying that random boot at the bottom of the picture so much?


Random-boot fetish?


So rather than fight for a place he’s going to play for Benfica B? So a bit like posting for the Arsenal u 21s then.
No, something stinks here. Is the training and education fee lower for foreign clubs than for U.K.? Will we see him spending a brief sojourn in Portugal before being bought by an English club for less than the training fee they would have had to pay?


Unlikely, Portuguese clubs like to stick a ridiculous release clause on new players with potential. Will probably attach a 60 million price tag on him as soon as he joins.

Spanish Gooner

Fair play to him, I seem to recall Eric Dier doing something similar – moving to Portugal where he had a better chance of breaking into the first XI before returning to England as an (unfortunately) well developed player. Good luck to him and if he makes it, I hope he remembers where home is

Crash Fistfight

Dier is bog average, and that’s not my anti-Tottenham bias speaking (I acknowledge they have a few very good players).


Who cares, he isn’t all that. Wilshere and Fab were far more advanced at 19

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