Arsenal cashing in on Joe Willock right now is the correct decision

Why Willock’s move is best for all parties involved by Yash

One of Arsenal’s top priorities in the current summer window was to decide on Joe Willock’ future, whether to sell or involve him with the Gunners’ first team.

Last month manager Mikel Arteta said, “Joe is part of our plans, he’s our player and in the time that he is here we will try to make the most out of him.”

A month later, he all but confirmed his departure by saying, “With Joe, we’ll explain the reasons when we can. It’s all I can say now. When I can say more, I’ll let you know.”

Deciding on Willock’s future would have been very hard for the club. The midfielders that Arsenal have, have barely contributed in terms of goals. He had a unique skill set, which could have been beneficial to the current team, that struggled massively in front of goal last season.

But cashing in on him was the correct decision by the club. First of all, the 21-year-old will never be able to replicate his scoring record at Newcastle United.

Willock scored 7 goals out of the 14 shots that he attempted at the Tyneside club. Even the likes of all-time Premier League scorer Alan Shearer or Thierry Henry found it impossible to score one goal from every two shots they took. It was an absurdly crazy hot streak, which is destined to cool down.

The other aspect that we should point out is that Willock failed to establish himself as a first choice pick at the Emirates Stadium. He made his debut for Arsenal in the Premier League all the way back in April 2018. Since then, he has been in and out of the starting 11, which tells you more than you need to know.

Willock is also a player who would struggle to fit in Arteta’s current 4-2-3-1 formation. Him playing in the double midfield pivot instead of Granit Xhaka or Thomas Partey would have been a poor decision.

Similarly, he cannot be deployed as a central attacking midfielder. Willock has been given plenty of chances there in his Arsenal career, but has failed to impress.

Despite the fact that Willock should have been the last person in the queue of clearing the so called “deadwood,” Arsenal cannot sell players for whom they have not received a penny.

Last season, fans were furious when Arsenal sold Emi Martinez to Aston Villa. But did the North London outfit have an option to choose between Bernd Leno and the Argentine? No.

They sold the keeper for which they received a reasonable offer, and even though that has come back to bite them, was the correct decision at that time.

It would have obviously been better if Arsenal were in a position to sell who they wanted to. But unfortunately, they are not.

£25M for a player who has played bit part for the Arsenal first team, but impressed out on loan, is a tremendous success for the club, especially the academy.

It will now help us to pursue other targets, who have more chances of fitting in with the current set up.

If Willock had stayed, he would just have been a squad player. And to get £25M for a squad player is a superb deal in my opinion.

I know for certain that few people would agree to my point and majority would smash me in the comments section below.

But the truth is that Joe Willock is the only player that’s attractive to other clubs at the moment, and Arsenal are doing right to move him on.

*If you can, be kind in the comments. Cheers

Yash Bisht

Tags Willock


  1. I’d have to agree but only because we have an absolute amateur as a manager with terrible tactics and no form of style of play.

    I mean if Steve Bruce can get a lot out of Willock in a poor Newcastle team that should tell you all you need to know about the level MA is really at.

    So I agree it’s best to sell Willock, he’ll be wasted at Arsenal anyway.

    1. Willock didn’t do anything under Emery either, so I guess Emery must a be an awful coach as well then? Strange how an awful coach can win 4 Europa Leagues with weak teams haha!

      1. I understand that you genuinely believe your own logic, but it’s heavily flawed.

        It’s quite obvious that Willock is peaking later than some other academy players, or are all players around the world supposed to peak at exactly the same age? Willock suits a role with freedom, it’s pretty simple.

        1. Be happy for Joe. He will get first team minutes. He is a counterattacking mid who doesn’t play great defense. Wrong skill set for arsenal.

        2. Yes he’s peaking late, but I still haven’t seen enough to suggest he’s got a high ceiling.

          Remember that a certain Arshavin also had an amazing 6 months at a new club (Arsenal), then was very average for the rest of his career. 6 months is not long enough to rate a player.

          1. Don’t agree with that.

            Arshavin was constantly played out of position… at one stage he was our central striker.

            So I just say purchase players on what we need and let them play in their natural positions.

    2. Guess Wenger and Emery were clueless too because they also gave chances to Willock too and he never was able to breakthrough

      1. Do your homework when you want to smear Arsene due to your love for MA.

        Joseph Willock is not in 2016/2017 squad for EPL. Arsene brought him in 2017/2018 squad, he is only 18 years old then.

        He was 5’10” then but not 6’1″(1.86m) now according to Wiki and

        Similarly, for those who smear Arsene by saying Arsene players affect MA’s result, DO YOUR HOMEWORK. The first 11 of 2017/2018 squad at least has 50% difference from Emery’s squad. Emery’s squad also difference from MA’s squad.

        Can the manager gel the squad and utilize individual players’ talent is another research topic.

        Let’s support MA and don’t criticise him for 1st 15 matches. However, if results are not positive; MA supporters should have the dignity, courage and guts to admit they are wrong!

        BTW, don’t smear previous managers as most of the players are gone before the next manager took over. Also, why the deadwoods perform for the previous managers but not the current managers? Don’t tell me the previous managers have black magic.

      2. Good piece of business. Wish Joe well at the toon. Scores 1st game breaks Shearers record of consecutive games scored in for Newcastle. However we have to have higher aspirations to move forward as a club. Good player but not the right level.

  2. Good luck Joe! May you feature for the national team soon. Mikel needs money to pay those on enormous wages who seem reluctant to move, so I understand this transfer, just as I did when Emi was transfered to pay 18M something to our “greatest non playing player”
    Good luck to Mikel for the new season too. Top 10 if you achieve that, than that’s as good as top 4 with all the players you cannot move out nor can be coached.

  3. I agree. However, like Martinez and Iwobi, the deal will be better judged after a full season. Like Iwobi, I don’t think Joe has a high ceiling, but for his sake I hope he proves me wrong in the long term.

  4. Hopefully Arsenal keep the money until they sell Lacazette or Nketiah, then use it to buy a taller CF

    Willock didn’t play well when he started as a CAM for Arsenal in two EPL games, but he might have understood the role better after scoring a lot of goals for Newcastle

    Replacing Willock with an overpriced homegrown AM would likely be a big mistake, because we still have Nelson and Willian to compete with Smith-Rowe

    1. GOT, sometimes your comments always baffles me but I understand you, you always want to be neutral, because you said we should allow nelson and willian to battle it out with smith Rowe in am, can those two improve us in that area or are they of the high quality we needed, see Manutd spent millions on Bruno and see how he changed them drastically in a positive way even though they have mata( which is of course better than both willian and Nelson you mentioned) and they still went ahead and sepnd big on AM which greatly improve them since his arrival….. I don’t mind us spending millions so far he will improve us very well and make us to be more competitive in the league and not top 6 …..

      1. Willian made two assists in pre-season and he can only get better if he keeps playing on the left wing or in the CAM position

        Whereas Nelson hasn’t got enough chances to start as LW or as no 10, so we still don’t know what he can do in those positions

  5. There has to be a buy-back clause. Amateurs Edu and MA are responsible for selling Martinez and bringing in Runarsson/Willian. Those 3 deals alone scream of incompetence of the highest order so I wouldn’t trust their judgement one bit.

    1. I totally agree. I’m gutted by the fact that Willock may be moving on. The only consolation here would be to insert a buy back clause. Let’s not repeat another Emi Martinez-like mistake.

  6. Sell Nelson aubemayang bellerin and one of elneny or xhaka better both but won’t happen this window … and one of amn or chambers … 90m… bring in Silva and a promising right back to compete with Cedric and try to find a genuine attacking option … and maybe just maybe we will have a chance of getting in to top 6

    1. You can give Arteta city and he will find a way to fail. Biggest problem with Arsenal is the manager, he is not good enough for this size of club. City, United, Chelsea even spuds are more ambitious then us. None of these clubs would have kept Arteta in job after last season but to hide our failure we use class as an excuse.

      1. @Logic that I totally agree.. it’s not about the players if they perform well elsewhere other than Arsenal.. take Xhaka for instance in his national team the man is a beast.. at Newcastle Joe was a beast but the moment MA brings his schoolboy tactics everything falls apart.. the squad we fans complain about is better than what most sides who out perform us have.. does Everton West Ham or Leicester have a better squad than we do? The answer is no the gaffers make the teams work this job is out of MA’s depth.

  7. Nothing is expected from Arsenal again this season . Can they buy a Auror with this money remains to be seen. Antonio Conte is available. Hope Arsenal try to sign him by November

  8. How is Ben White £50 million and Madison £70million while Wilock is £21 million?? Our transfer policies are appalling, we pay double the price when we buy but when we sell we always sell at basement prices. He is young, did well last season at Newcastle, has come though a big club system and is highly rated. When we bought White people said that’s how the market is specially for British players then what has happened in Wilock case.

    1. Well unfortunately logic ,Arteta as overseen two 8th place finishes and as got us out of Europe so teams know we are desperate so prices go up .
      The price you pay for employing someone who’s clearly not upto the job .

      1. @Dan I couldn’t have said it any better.. it’s such a shame I thought MA would have left the job before Lampard but here we are going into another season with an Amateur coach.. I see fans complain about our squad.. honestly I will take our squad over a lot of what our rivals have.. I remember before Lampard was sacked the full Chelsea team looked like a college football team but Tuchel transformed that team and all the so called deadwood at the time including Kante and Harvertz turned into world class players who then went on to win the champions league Arsenal will not improve under MA there is a level of experience he just does not have at the moment.

  9. We are left with Elneny and Xhaka if we sell Willock. Why the F have we not got rid of our new malingerer…Xhaka. Priorities have got lost. With Xhaka and Elneny in the midfield, then 8th place is the highest we can achieve. How the heck have we been left with those two. We are on the ‘Road to Nowhere’ as the band ‘Talking Heads’ told us (our new theme song). It’s not that Willock is our saviour….it’s that Xhaka and Elneny are our demise.

    1. Am sure you are aware Arteta wouldn’t use his money to buy players we need. It’s clear he wants most of the players we fans would like to see but no funding.
      He would love to get rid of those players fans don’t want but there are no interest for them, the one Roma wanted, they couldn’t meet his valuation.
      We can blame manager for wrong selection and tactics not funding and ambition that’s totally up to top management

      1. Wheres the evidence that he won’t be supported ,haven’t we just spent 75 million on 3 players and are apparently looking at another 70 million on one player ,this myth that Arsenal managers dont spend money is just that a MyTh ,I’m sure you can find the numbers online with 1 minute but I’m sure In the last 5years we are in the top 4-5 for spending so that does not back your statement up .
        What I do know is that we have definitely spent more than finishing 8th two years in a row completely underperformed the last 3 years and I would understand if you comment was true but it isn’t .

        1. Forget about the spending, Dan.

          What have MA done with the five outfield players signed permanently last summer done so far? I left Runnarson from the list intentionally as he was brought in as an understudy. He hand-picked them himself. The youngest of them being Gabriel, 22, while all the other four players were seasoned professionals, albeit at different levels.

          The player who made the most starts and played the most minutes among those five is the inexperienced Gabriel. Barring Gabriel and, to some extent, Partey, none of them can be termed as a starter in the new season after spending a season under MA.

          Even during that purple patch in the league last season, starting from our victory against Chelsea, during that 24 game streak in the league, in which we won 14, Willian started just 4 games, Cedric 8 and Mari 10. Collectively they started just 22 games against a possible 72 games. And they didn’t feature even as a sub in 33 games collectively. That is 11 more games warming the bench than starting a game. And their collective games missed due to injury was just 7, with Mari missing 5 and Cedric none.

          These investments made by MA contributed very little last season and are not expected to make any contributions to the starting line-up this season. With such a support from the management, MA couldn’t improve one place in the league and qualify for the even third rated Conference league.

          How can any management be expected to further back the guy who is yet to show any kind of improvement for the previous investments made?

  10. I would have to say 25 mill sounds about right to me and I would happily sell ,he didn’t do much when he was last in the side and fans then was shouting for him to be sold ,that was 2 years ago has he improved ?couldnt really tell without him getting a run of 10 games in our team but from what I saw last time I would have to say he’s never going to be Arsenals lvl,but would rather get that money put towards a top top player rather than hoping for the best with willock .
    I just worry that the money they do get won’t be invested back into the team ,and we hear the good old chestnuts “we tried to sign players but couldn’t find any that made us better “.
    4 days till season opener and Arteta still hasn’t improved the team .
    Odd seeing he shouldn’t be in the job anyway and you would think he would be trying all he can to save it .

  11. Dan , what is Arsenal’s level ?
    Gradually declining over a number of seasons we are no longer seen as a top top club and don’t have the kudos to attract the very best so we have to continue to develop the ones that have come so far through the ranks.
    How long before one of the sharks offers us £100 million for Saka ? will thast be construed as good business too.

    1. Should have written it better @potter
      Arsenals lvl is not what it should be under Arteta,what we all think it should be and not what it is now .

  12. Like it or not, Willock is not a natural 10 , the kind Arteta is looking for. He might be good in front of goal but he lacks all the other qualities that makes a number 10.
    Unless Arteta changes his style to accommodate him or another coach comes in, he won’t come near the starting eleven at Arsenal.
    Meanwhile as for the price he’s been sold for, I think we should’ve asked for a bit more.

  13. All the best Joe. He will never get playing at top level and improvement is limitied, if he stay.

  14. A well known four word saying sums up this articles message, which some may consider realistic; BEGGERS CAN’T BE CHOOSERS!
    I rather like Willock and in an ideal world would want him to stay. BUT our club, under ruinous Kroenke, will NEVER again be in an ideal world. Weep!

    1. iF YOU are one of the fans who think the REAL problem is MA, try asking yourself would he EVEN BE our manager, IF we had a caring and interested owner. THEN, you may, just may, take my point.

      1. Arteta is just the tip of the iceberg. It is our Technical Director who is the real issue here. He arrived in the summer when we finished 5th in the league and reached the UEL finals in the just concluded season. What happened at our club since June 2019?

        1. David Luiz arrived.
        2. Pepe was bought at an inflated price.
        3. Saliba was signed and loaned back for the season.
        4. Emery was sacked and replaced by an ex-assistant manager.
        5. Mari and Cedric arrived on loan and signed permanently.
        6. Willian arrived on a 3 year contract.
        7. Our scouting team was made redundant.

        Arteta is just a puppet and Edu, the puppet master, recruited MA exactly for that reason.

  15. I wish Joseph Willock all the best. I hope that he is the real thing and develops under a manager who knows his strength and bring out his best.

    Join Newcastle is the correct choice. He has no future to stay in Arsenal. If he is the real thing, Arsenal doesn’t deserve him.

  16. I’m gutted…

    I’ve said it before… letting Willock go will bite us on the arse.

    What a complete fiasco this club has become. What’s upsetting is I don’t know who to blame?

    We are in poo peeps… and we could possibly sink further than where we are now… ffs 4 years for Xhaka?

    1. This is just the start, mate.

      We’ve got three more weeks for the transfer window to slam shut. Rough ride ahead. Buckle up.

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