Is Chris Willock the next Young Gunner set for first team duties?
There have been a few rumours in recent weeks that Arsene Wenger may be looking to promote the likes of Toral, Hayden and Akpom to first team duties next season. However one name that was yet to be mentioned was young winger Chris Willock!
Willock was very impressive for the Arsenal under 21’s last season, becoming one of the standout players in the Arsenal youth set up. Such has been his rise alongside the likes of Bielik and Mavididi in the youth team, it is rumoured all three could be set up with the first team for the pre-season tour. However, Willock is most favoured out of the three to stick with the first team after pre-season ends.
Wenger was recently asked by the media about the rise of Willock, with Le Prof seemingly very keen on the young Englishman. Wenger said: ‘Chris is a very gifted player with natural strength and natural talent. He has what you do not find very easily.
He can have a go at people, can get past people in one on ones. I believe that he has the needed character when he has his back to the wall to always respond in a very strong way. That’s a very important quality, to be able to play under pressure.’
Willock was vital for the Arsenal under 21’s last season and has also been very impressive for England in their youth teams. He may not be as ready as the likes of Toral and Akpom are in terms of professional experience, and so perhaps much like Crowley, Willock could benefit with some time out on loan next season.
Of course the youngster still has plenty to learn before he makes a valuable impact at Arsenal on first team duties. The one benefit he does have on his side in relation for making his professional debut with Arsenal next season, is that the Gunners are desperately crying out for more naturally born wingers who know how to play with the ball at their feet, beat a man and be able to provide a good ball in the box for their main man up front. That’s something many of Arsenal’s current wingers struggle with and so I think Willock could certainly be set for an appearance here and there next season, especially in the domestic cup competitions.