Willock shows he is well suited to Emery’s style

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Joe Willock received many plaudits for his performance in Arsenal’s 3-0 victory over Blackpool, with the midfielder’s brace serving to highlight just how much he has progressed this season.

Last campaign Willock received plenty of first-team opportunities in the cup competitions and, while he showed glimpses of the undoubted quality that he possesses, there was a feeling that there was something missing from his game.

At times then Hale End product seemed unwilling to take risks as he preferred to play safe passes, while he often wasn’t able to have much of an overall impact in games.

Now, though, Willock is almost a different player entirely, with Freddie Ljungberg’s coaching in the U23 setup having helped him immensely.

Willock is frequently making excellent runs forward from deep-lying positions, while, as he demonstrated against Blackpool, he is becoming more clinical in front of goal and also seems to be playing with greater confidence.

There is, of course, still much work for Willock to do in order to fully make the breakthrough into the first-team, but he is certainly heading in the right direction and will be aiming to make some appearances in the Premier League before the season reaches its conclusion.

Were Willock not so close to the first-team squad, it would have been tempting for the club to send him out on loan this month so that he could develop even further.

As it stands, though, it is perhaps more beneficial for him to remain at Arsenal, where he can continue to improve in training.

More than most players, Willock seems perfectly suited to Unai Emery’s style of play as he is capable of exchanging passes with his team-mates quickly before making those aforementioned dynamic runs.

Today represented a significant step in Willock’s development and further opportunities surely won’t be far away.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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Chiza
Chiza

With willock,medley,saka,xavier amaechi,smith Rowe, Nelson,nketiah,maitland Niles,nwakali,tyreece John Jules,holding,mavrapanos,torriera and guendouzi..i truly consider arsenal blessed and lucky because their future is really bright with these players…….i see a potential pep guardiola Barça team of yesteryears coming through and I’m damn serious about that

Arsenala Vista Baby
Arsenala Vista Baby

If u don’t include buying a winger in your comment, will be thumbed down

Ellis McPickle
Ellis McPickle

Always try to be cautious about promising youngsters, seen too many end up leaving to obscurity but see shades of diaby in this one. That dynamism with a bit of technique. Hope he gets more chances, can see him becoming a monster.

Granit(e) Hard!
Granit(e) Hard!

Well, i watched the quartet of Iwobi, Willock, Nketiah and Maitland-Niles terrorise the Blackpool defence tonight with their constant running behind, pace, trickery and competence on the ball, like a father hen, bursting with pride and couldnt stop smiling, thinking we are watching the future Arsenal team evolving before our eyes, and what a hell of a team it could turn out to be if all these gifted kids can make it through…one thing for sure is they will defenitely be fun to watch.

ClockEndRider
ClockEndRider

A father hen?

Pete
Pete

It’s possible nowadays, I suppose.

Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Looked like Ramsey out there (the awesome version). Have to be honest as I didn’t find him exciting last season (for all the reasons the article mentions) and thought the arrival of Guendouzi would kill his chances, but he’s really matured this season. Last season’s development as a DLP has transformed him from a promising 10-type to an all-round 8 type.

Pretend-tackling like Iwobi
Pretend-tackling like Iwobi

He reminds me of Diaby. Hope he continues to make an impact and nail a spot and that, with Ramsey leaving, we don’t buy someone who’ll block his path.

sambo
sambo

These kids won major things with England, history would say the Spanish won the youth honours before winning the world cup and bringing players like Xavi, Iniesta etc, Then it was the German youth who won honours then went on to win the big ones, and recently it was France….Today its been England! U17 U19 and U21 winning major honours and we have some of those players. Look at Sancho and Nelson and Bayern Munich’s desire to bid big for the Chelsea prospect. If we do this right we might have something very special indeed.

Matty Cakes
Matty Cakes

Lot of comments saying reminiscent of Diaby.
I see a lot of Blaise Matuidi in Willock.
Let’s hope he continues to progress and has just as good a career with us.
Definitely the type of midfielder Emery will need to carry out his game plan

santori
santori

Busy player. Nice instincts.

Should go out on loan to be honest to further develop.

That said we could do with an upgrade to Elneny. At the moment though the Egyptian still has a slight edge over Willock in experience (defensively) but that’s about it.

Rumour that we are looking at some sort of deal for Dennis Suarez who also plays deep midfield. Not sure how true it is but we need one more option there to sustain campaign beyond Granit, Torreira and Guendouzi. Whether Suarez has function further forward ( in lieu of if Ramsey leaves) is the other question.

Great feet though and we certainly need players who can carry the ball and engage others like Iwobi.