‘He’s got the temperament’ – Ferdinand names next youth product to earn Arsenal role

Rio Ferdinand has claimed that Joe Willock has shown that he deserves his chance to shine at Arsenal.

The midfielder left North London to join Newcastle on loan in January, and has helped his side with important late goals in recent weeks to take points off Tottenham, Liverpool and West Ham.

Those goals would have helped our team in our bid to earn European football had we had players earning us late wins at the Emirates, but our form has left a lot to be desired.

Rio Ferdinand believes that Willock has already showed that he can be of use to his parent club, and even added that he wouldn’t have sent him out on loan in the first place.

“You know what, I like Joe Willock,” Rio told his YouTube channel FIVE.

“He’s someone at Arsenal that I would have kept. He’s a good young player. If Arsenal don’t take him back and have him around that squad… I don’t know, man.

“I really like him and I like his personality. He’s not shy to come on the big stage and play and perform.

“And the last three goals he’s scored have been massive goals for Newcastle. It shows he’s got the temperament.”

Willock is only 20 year-old, and could well emerge as a future star for Arsenal, but if he considers himself as an attacking midfielder, ESR could well be viewed as a blocker to his path into the first-team.

Is Willock more of a central midfielder or would his most suitable role in our current formation be in behind the striker? Would anyone begrudge Arsenal if they sold the youngster?


Tags Joe Willock Rio Ferdinand


  1. Willock presents us with a bit of a dilemma…I think he’s good enough to provide us with something we don’t really have at present in the midfield, as he’s got some decent height and he’s always in and around the box…of course if someone wows us with a unexpected bid for his services, we would have to consider it, but if it turns into a nickel & dime affair with stingy Newcastle, I would rather sell AMN and Eddie, then keep Willock as someone who could get a handful or so of starts and become a valuable sub when we need to go hunting for goals in the last 20 minutes…this loan move might prove to be our most beneficial, as he appears to be a more confidant player, which we haven’t seen since his glorious goal in that crazy League Cup game against Pool when he scored that absolute screamer

  2. Arsenal still have players they do not need, including loan players with no roles waiting their return, a plethora of center backs and young players who are not progressing. Joe Willock is not a member of any of those groups.

    Willock plays a role Arsenal need to fill, a central midfielder who can score. Right now, their highest scoring central midfielder/#10 is Martin Odegaard, with one goal.

    The question is, Is Willock ready to play every day at a top four club. No. Has the loan improved him, clearly it has.

    Players that should be moved on include;
    1. Maitland-Niles, a good but not great midfielder/fullback. (13 million)
    2. Torreira – DM midfielder not good enough to play every day for a top team (15 million)
    3. Mateo Guendouzi, who like Maitland-Niles is a good but not good enough central midfielder with discipline problems. (15 million)
    4. Eddie Nketiah – also a good but not quite ready for prime-time forward. (15 million)
    5. Jeff Reiss-Nelson – there is just no place for him to go to improve at the club. (5 million)
    6. Konstantinos Mavropanos – he has been with Arsneal for years, but cannot break into the team. He is not better than any of the current players and William Saliba is a young, unproven center back coming in next season. Dinos had a good loan in Germany. It is time to say good bye and good luck. (8 million)
    7. David Luiz – He could stay on in a coaching role. His leadership has value, but as a player, he is not significantly better than existing. much younger options. His presence takes badly needed minutes from Gabriel, Chambers, Mari, and the returning Saliba. (free transfer)
    8. Willian – he was signed to provide steadiness , leadership, and goals form the wing. He’s done some of that, with some quality assists, but watching him against Everton was excruciating. He was so predictable and so plainly a step off the pace, any minute he spends on the field in place of Saka or Pepe is criminal Martinelli has his problems, next year, minutes that might go to Willian should, probably, be invested in Martinelli. Keeping him for injury cover would make sense. (free transfer)
    9. Runar Alex Runarrson – he got a shot, made some mistakes, and it seems like Arteta no longer trusts him. The club signed Matt Ryan, so it is time to wave good bye. (1.5 million)

    Next year’s roster should look something like this – if the club really wants to compete for top 4, Arsenal need to be two-deep at each role.


    Bellerin, Holding, Mari, Tierney
    (Chambers), (Saliba), (Gabriel), (Owen Wijndal – AZ Alkmaar)

    Partey, John McGin – Aston Villa
    (Xhaka) (Willock)

    Pepe, Philippe Coutinho – Barcelona, Saka
    (Balogun), (Smith-Rowe), (Martinelli)


    Squad players from: Soares, Willian, Elneny, Luiz, Daniel Ballard, Matt Smith, Trae Coyle

    This satisfies the homegrown player requirement, plus adds depth, quality, and extends Arsenal’s commitment to its young players without sacrificing points.

    Player sales should fund the purchase of McGin and Wijndal, with Coutinho’s transfer of 40 million coming from the club.

    1. It’s crazy to sell Mavropanos. He is doing really, really well in Germany. He definitely is one for the future and it’d be crazy to sell him. I’d rather send him out on another loan.

      Also, Runarrson’s performances sliced his value in half. If the club ever gets 1 million for him, I’d open a bottle of bubbly to celebrate.

      Finally, Bellerin must be replaced by a better-performing RB. He’s past his prime and should be moved on. And I’m sure we can get an upgrade for the same price.

  3. Joe Willock should be retained as an AM prospect. His value can only increase with further first team appearances, either at Arsenal or on loan.

  4. Willock seems to have put on a bit of a growth spurt and I see him as a tall box to box player, whether it’s for us or another team is down to Arteta. If as it seems Ødegaard won’t be staying, I think we should try hard to keep Willock.

  5. Totally agree Declan.I would rather have Willock in the pool than, say Elneny.He is suited to a box to box role as he does not have the technical skill ,nor the passing ability to operate as a number ten.He has plenty of pace, and energy and most importantly he can put the ball in the net.

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