Former Gunner reckons Arsenal youngster may need a move away

Martin Keown reckons that Joe Willock might have to leave Arsenal for a stint out on loan before he can be considered for first-team football.

The midfielder is an important part of Mikel Arteta’s plans at the Emirates, but he hasn’t been finding the minutes that his development needs.

Against Molde last night, he showed yet again why he is so highly-rated at the club, but there is no guarantee that he will play the next game.

This Arsenal team is a work in progress as Mikel Arteta was only named the club’s manager late last year.

The Spaniard has a lot of options and he cannot be blamed for not playing Willock enough.

However, Keown thinks that now is the time for Willock to play regular football after the midfielder impressed him against Molde.

He suggested that perhaps he will have to leave the club to join another team on loan before he will finally be considered good enough to play for the team regularly.

He told BT Sport via Sun Sports: ‘He wants to make the difference, he’s got great technique and drive and they need to make use of that for the first time.

‘He’s finding the extra gears and he’s maturing nicely. If he’s not getting the chances, is he going to have to go on loan?

“We don’t know. He’s going to let the manager decide.

‘The shape – they now want to play two, Elneny and Partey in that five. If he wants a third player Willock has to come into his thinking.

“He’s got to be one of the first on the list to put those two under pressure.

 “We have to work out a pathway for him to get in that first-team, if he has to go on loan – he’s not far away from getting it right.”

Tags Joe Willock Martin Keown



    I completely disagree with KEOWN and do NOT see Willock either wanting, not being able to go on loan. I see him as a player that MA will often be using this season and is too valuable to go on loan.

    I also think the player himself knows that he will most benefit from playing and training with OUR players and being coached by the talented MA. The time for loaning him was in the past and not now. I am near certain it will not happen.

  2. I’ve never been very high on Willock but his play over the last few games is really exciting and proving me wrong. He’s taking big steps this season so I dont see why Arteta would choose to loan him out. At this rate, he’s joining Partey and Elneney in a three man midfield by Christmas.

    1. And that is the reason for MA dumping the useless over the hill social media savvy PR mumbo jumbo talker snail paced one goal a season millionaire in favor of an energetic skilled player keen to develop and produce the results.

  3. I myself thought JW would benefit from a stint on loan, but based on his performances lately, I must admit it would be better to keep him in the squad. Similar to Aaron Ramsey’s game, he has the ability to make timely runs into the box, a skill that is clearly lacking in the first team. I think he would be very useful coming off the bench in the League and as a starter in the EUROPA team.
    Most importantly, we need to be mindful of the messages we send to other young players in the squad.

  4. Midfield is suddenly looking much stronger, great performance by ESR tonight, Willock last night Elneny and Partey the weekend before and of course Saka all the time. Personally I think Maitland-Niles would also perform in the 3. Not a bad 6.

    Oops haven’t even mentioned xhaka, ceballos or ozil. I wonder why?

  5. Strongly disagree with MK. Willock has stepped up a level this season and is pushing strongly for a starting place in our first eleven.

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