Chris Willock stole all the headlines tonight as Arsenal’s U21 side beat Blackburn 2-1.
Tonight marked the return to action for key first-team star Santi Cazorla, who has been out injured since November, but it was not his name who stole the headlines, as one of the club’s future stars laid a marker down.
An 18 year-old Willock has been trending on Twitter following his brace, which left his Under-21 side three points away from earning promotion to the top division. The left-winger has been training with the first-team squad for much of the campaign, and despite making the first-team’s bench on two occasions, is yet to make his senior debut.
Willock has was only last month spoken highly of by Arsene Wenger, when he highlighted the youngster for praise.
The French boss said: “We have many players with big quality. The guys that are with me now like Chris Willock who is very impressive, Jeff Reine-Adelaide is with us on a daily basis, Reiss Nelson is with us also.’
The young star lined up alongside experienced players Calum Chambers, Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky in the bid to secure promotion to the reserve top league.
The latter duo are nearing a return to first-team action, with the Spaniard making the bench for Arsenal’s last Premier League match with Norwich, but was not selected to enter the field of play.
Santi will no doubt be eager to feature in the remaining league fixtures, in hope of securing his role in the Spain squad for the upcoming European Championships. Rosicky will likely sit out the weekend’s encounter with Manchester City however, but I expect him to be allowed to feature against Aston Villa in the final league outing, in order to receive a welcome goodbye from the fans as his contract runs out following that match.
Could Willock be the next Iwobi? Can Santi make the difference against Man City?