Arteta: Willock has given himself options


Mikel Arteta says Joe Willock’s performances for Newcastle United have opened up various options for his future development.

The Athletic reported earlier this week that the Magpies were on the verge of capturing the England under-21 international for around £25 million but with Arsenal heading to Brentford tomorrow, it looks like the player will start the new campaign as a Gunner.

Asked whether Willock is part of his plans, Arteta said: “The situation is that he’s our player. We held some conversations because it’s not only about what we want to do, there’s the player’s interest, the role that the player can fit within a squad, a club.

“What he’s done has put him in a really strong position where he can choose a little bit with more options what his future could look like. This is what we’re trying to define right now.

Asked if Willock would still be at the Emirates come September, Arteta added: “I don’t know. I’m not going to say that because you’ll come like you did earlier with a quote from last season. I’d prefer not to answer that.”

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Two options really. Stay at Arsenal and play hardly at all. Or go to Newcastle and play more, for more money – but not quite as much as he wants. Make your mind up time.

John C

He should be told he won’t get much game time and pushed out the door.

If you’re behind Elneny in the pecking order that has to be a pretty clear sign you’re not wanted.

We really need to start clearing some of these players out of the club


He’s a Hale End boy who made it to the first team. He went away on loan and scored in 7 consecutive games. If the lad wants to stay and prove himself at Arsenal, I say that’s his right.

John C

So what, he’ll have a good career somewhere else.

This sentimental attitude with youngsters is how we’ve ended up 8th. Don’t buy Xabi Alonso because we don’t want to kill Denilson or Diaby etc etc etc. A slow erosion of standards and quality.

Playing for Arsenal should be a privilege thats earned not given automatically because you came through the system. Willock has had almost 80 matches in an Arsenal shirt to prove himself and hasn’t taken it, time to move n in his career.


And here I thought we were finishing 8th because of pedestrian tactics and an over-reliance on underperforming older players on massive contracts. Yes, we absolutely should have bought Xabi Alonso, missing out on him was an inexcusable error. But we never finished 8th with Denilson and Diaby, nor the tactics and transfer strategy that led us to sign them and their like.

Willock is 21 years old, plays in a problem position for us, and has lots of potential. He can have a good career here if all parties are willing.

John C

Well you would be wrong, we finished 8th because our squad of players isn’t good enough to finish any higher.

Our squad isn’t good enough because of a decade or so of under investment.

We need to replace our current set of players for better ones, Willock is one of those players.

Let’s not forget the team that’s after Willock finished 12th last season, 16 points behind us. Whilst we are trying to make up 6 points to finish 4th


Aston Villa wanted ESR and they finished 11th, I guess he’s shit too? They finished 17th when we sold them Martinez, he must have also been rubbish!

Yes our squad isn’t good enough but as I’ve said elsewhere, there are plenty of players I’d be letting go from the Arsenal squad before a 21 year old midfielder that, you know, actually scores goals.

canon fodder

What a brilliant response! No rants nor unkind words, just plain facts delivered brilliantly.

Heavenly Chapecoense

I guess you also said it was time to move for Gnabry and Martinez.


Don’t forget that 11th placed Villa wanted ESR, doesn’t mean he’s only good enough for a mid-table team.

Teta's cult of personality

In those “almost 80” matches. Willock got approximately 3620 minutes. Which is the equivalent to about 40 full matches. So he has an average of 46 minutes of game time. Pre-Arteta he had 2432 senior minutes. After Arteta, he had 1188 minutes. A lot of which came in the Europa League. Frankly, I think it is absurd to judge a 21 year old footballer based on what is essentially 1 season of football in an Arsenal shirt. The sentimentality angle also makes little sense given that the club resigned Luiz and Ceballos. The club is also looking to renew Xhaka… Read more »


The reason we’ve ended up 8th is because of Mikel Arteta, Edu and Stan Kroenke.

Wake up.


And we should clear out some dead wood to help his development

Vaibhav Pandey

Bang on, he should move on and find his love for football. At Arsenal, he will neither get more money nor playing time, so lose lose on all fronts. I would have certainly moved on.


He could actually end up with quite a bit of game time here actually. We don’t yet have a new attacking midfielder, and it looks like Xhaka is staying, so no new CM. If we continue to struggle for goals like last season, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Arteta changes tack and Willock forces his way into the team. And of course, there’s always the possibility that Willock outlasts Arteta if the season goes particularly poorly.


Loan him till Xmas, by then Arteta & co may be on there bikes & a new boss may want Willock.


Make your mind up Joe, we need to spend that money if you’re going. Thank god we saw sense and didn’t buckle to Sheff Utd’s demands…..


Arteta only has 6 months left in the job at most anyway, who cares if Joe is not an Arteta player. Joe can wait it out.


I hear Villa are sniffing around him at the moment. Should they offer north of £30 Million, we should not hesitate

Vaibhav Pandey

25 would do for me 😀

evaristus asobara

My philosophy in life(read;FM) ; never sell promising players before 23 years. Unlike Nketiah and Nelson, Willock has been showing glimpses of his potential. He’s worth hanging onto for at least 2 seasons


If we are actually going to play him


It still boggles my mind that a 21 year old, proven goal scorer, with the good ol’ “arsenal DNA” can’t be properly used to improve the team that is desperate for goals. Sure though, let’s replace him another mercenary to take us to the promised land. That has worked so well for us. Really what are the values of this club these days?

John C

Where’s this non-sense concept of Arsenal DNA sprung up from? With your attitude we shouldn’t have signed Henry because we had Isiah Rankin or Patrick Vieira because we had Stephen Hughes, 2 players with Arsenal DNA running through their veins! Please tell me, when did Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires stop being mercenaries despite both being signed in their mid-twenties and presumably taking the place of someone with good ol’ “Arsenal DNA”? Also, you do know that the whole “Barcelona DNA” concept was only used as a tool of coercion and manipulation to destabilise Fabregas and isn’t a real thing… Read more »


It was a joke to it’s use previously, the purpose was referencing he’s an academy product, and not just some kid that filled the numbers, rather one that broke Alan Shearer’s consecutive goal scoring record.

Nice strawman argument though…

John C

I don’t know what strawman argument means, it seems to me to be a term exclusively used by people who don’t want to answer a question


You seem to understand quite well Johnny boy.

Heavenly Chapecoense

By your definition, you’ve been using strawman arguments over here for years.


Straw man argument is when someone puts words in your mouth / attributes a statement to you that you didn’t make, and then goes on to belittle or argue against that false argument.

Public Elneny

Arsenal’s post-Wenger values – Short termism, incompetent decision making, and timid tactics


😂😂😂😂the last word from mikel got me

Arteta-tinted Glasses

Wenger would have found a way to keep him because of goals from MF, but don’t think he’s an Arteta player. I think he should move to make a good career. I reckon he can push for an England call-up as a super-sub if he keeps doing what he does.

Hakuna Matata

He came on n scored against chelsea in preseason (I know). He demonstrated that the supersub role fits him perfectly


Which just might be the exact sticking point. Arteta is surely smart enough to to recognize his style of play can be used to change tack, but will Willock agree to such a role?


Allegedly Willock and Newcastle are a ways apart on personal terms, wouldn’t be surprised if Willock would prefer to fight for his place here rather than leave for Newcastle permanently as well. Would be happy to keep him, lots of players we should be letting go before him, even if it’s for pennies on the pound.


He’s holding all the cards, and Newcastle are desperate for him, so I imagine it’s just a matter of time before they up their offer (like they upped their offer to us) to him. It would be embarrassing for them at this stage not to be able to meet the personal terms of a player coveted by everyone there from fans to players to manager. I’d love to see Joe stay with us, but I also recognize that we are going to have to sell players we value highly along with those we do not.


I think they’ll try but they have their own financial issues, and will also be worrying about the impact of potential relegation. Newcastle are no strangers to embarrassment and disappointment!


“It would be embarrassing for them” – Ashley don’t care.

He’s beyond embarrassment.

Teta's cult of personality

I read so too. Though I think it’s just a matter of time before all the required documents are signed. I’m so used to seeing personal terms agreed before the transfer compensation so this one is a little weird to see in reverse.


Yeah looks like it’s a done deal now.

Public Elneny

Send him back on loan to Newcastle He could be a real player for us over the next decade, certainly not worth settling for £20m in a gamble that he won’t be. But as of now no one actually knows whether he has the consistency or rounded game to be that player for us Keeping him around next year will be a complete waste of time under Arteta, who doesn’t have a suitable role for him in his system. By 2022/23 chances are we’ll have a new manager who could well favour using a b2b goalscoring midfielder. He’ll also learn… Read more »


6 month loan should be enough, by then we might have a manager that will give him a chance.




I would love to see Joe stay. Surely he could add more to the team than Elneny . A midfield three of Partey, Willock, and Xhaka/Lokonga would have more attacking impetus that what was put on the pitch last year. Surely Joe would be more effective than Ceballos, right?


We are shaping up a team for Arteta and we will suck him before Xmas…or worst keep him for the wrong reasons


I’d rather not suck him thanks…..


I know a lot of people here really love Arteta, but what you’re suggesting surely goes beyond customary displays of affection towards a manager?


Good job transfer team.


£25m for the lad is good business IMO. After seeing so much money wasted on players running down their contracts (transfer value) and us not getting much for fringe players in the past couple of seasons, this will signify to clubs that our younger players available for loan/signing are worth spending some good money on.