Pundit urges ‘very brave’ Arsenal youngster to leave on loan

Owen Hargreaves has told Joe Willock that he ‘needs to play games’, an option not viable at Arsenal currently it seems.

The 21 year-old was the Man of the Match for last night’s 3-0 win over Dundalk at the Emirates, earning plaudits from a number of circles, yet hasn’t picked up a single minute of action in this season’s Premier League thus far, and Thomas Partey’s recent arrival is unlikely to help that.

Hargreaves was one of the pundits on BT Sport’s Europa League action show last night, and he moved to single out the midfielder for praise, before urging him to consider his role this season, stating that he ‘needs’ to be playing.

“He’s got great instincts,” Hargreaves said. “He has a good feel for the game. He’s very brave, he could be really good just depending on who is his partner – who is he with. I think there is a really good player in there.

“It is just about getting that right fit. At his age, he needs to play games. I think right now, at Arsenal, he is not going to get a ton of games, ” Hargreaves continued, during BT Sport’s coverage of Arsenal’s win over Dundalk.

Willock picked up 44 appearances in all competitions last season, a stark contrast to the new season so far, but if last night’s performance doesn’t convince Arteta that he is deserving of minutes, then he may well have to consider a loan move come January.

The winter window will open in around nine weeks time, but on last night’s performance, he should be looking to play in the first-team, especially with the side lacking creativity in midfield of late.

Would you start Willock against Man United come Sunday? Is he exactly what the team has been lacking in recent weeks?


Tags Joe Willock Owen Hargreaves


  1. I won’t defer to the current hype & go right over the top and suggest that Willock could be the new Ramsey, but…I think Willock could be the new Ramsey.
    What’s going on with his two brothers who used to be with Arsenal? Anyone?

      1. Cheers Sue. I’m pleased that they’ve not dropped out. I remember one went to Benfica & other to United (I think). Must be great when they meet up.

  2. Reiss and Joe deserve game time, Reiss deserves it because he has worked hard and is coming of age now… The guy works so hard for the team and can offer us something different that we dont have speed and that ability to take players on and he can score deliver the perfect ball cross etc.. Willock also has been working hard and deserves a chance in the first 11 his work rate last night was amazing but what has amazed me more than last night performances is the fact they both wanted to stay and figght for their position !! Arteta has to play them he just has too !! Willian looked shoocking again and Pepe does also !! ok he scored that great goal but offered very little else… Willock got so much game time last season under Arteta but hasnt been allowed by Arteta to push on ????? those players willock Reiss are good enough for the Arsenal and they helped us last season so so much !! play them Arteta play them over Willian Pepe !! play Elneny and willock as well !! and get Smith-Rowe fit and play him also !!

  3. He is right. Bundesliga loan deal would be the ticket. They give young players game time and develop them well.
    I like the player and I think he will be a good player for us but ,yes, he needs to play and somewhere like Germany would be great as quite few English young players went there and did well for their careers. Reiss Nelson played at Hoffenheim a year or so ago and did well whilst there.

  4. I would want to see more of Willock in a 3 man MF and see how he gets on from now till January.
    I don’t see the point in targeting say, Aouar and fork out 50M + when we already have a player here that can do that job.

    Only time will tell if he can be that player so I hope he gets more chances to play in the near future

  5. I like Willock. He actually scored well (5 goals) last season from the midfield. He gets in the action.

    I think MA should focus on his defensive abilities. Get a bit more involved in tackling and intercepting passes, just like Thiago.

  6. Willock & Reiss always looks good against ‘lesser’ opposition. They both have great potential but every time they play against average to good opposition they seem to struggle. Both aren’t what you’d consider young anymore in football terms either.

    Some players just can’t make the step up and I think MA realized that after last season, hence the reduction in playing time. Doesn’t mean they bad players but not everyone can make it at the top.

  7. Willock certainly does have something of Ramsey(but without the greediness) about him, in that he is the only midfielder who will make late runs into the box and is happy being ahead of the ball.

    He has a more attacking and badly needed style, than the boring sitters and crabs like Elneny and even “yes, I can and do pick a long pass, provided I have half an hour to accomplish it” Xhaka!

    He seems much quicker thinking and more inclined to take a risk to score or create goals than those other boring and frankly not remotely good enough other two.

    So yes, I would certainly consider him worthy of a run in the team and in place of either of those other two boring slowboats. He was our standout performer last night, despite the DAILY MAIL, ludicrously, giving the top mark to Nketiah, who was busy, as usual, but who still lacks so much in his game, esp a good enough first touch.

    At top- level it is all about pure technique, ability AND speed of thought and action, as well as desire to play for the team’s benfit, not for yourself. In those things , he is miles ahead of Xhaka and also of Elneny (though only equal in being a team player, as both are good team players but only Willock, of those two, has the natural technique necessary).

    Just my take and others will disagree.

  8. Arteta needs to be brave and trust Willock, Nelson and AMN on the big stage.Hargreaves is right to suggest Willock needs game time to develop , but that match play should come at Arsenal and not on loan.There are a number of very highly paid players who are not pulling their weight for our Club and unless they improve, we will almost certainly slide down the table.Auba, Laca and Pepe have failed to fire and Xhaka and Ceballos have been inept in midfield.Selection should be based on performance on the pitch, not past reputation or high transfer fees.I hope Arteta shows strength by leaving out poor performers regardless of their pedigree and gives our talented young players a real chance to show what they are made of.

  9. I agree with you Grandad, be nice to see him included more even if Willock only comes on as a sub in the 60th minute. Many times I have seen Ceballos and Xhaka unable to create or unlock a defensive setup. For example, why not bring Willock on in the game against Leicester?
    Arteta himself said fatigue was an issue. Xhaka and Ceballos were like driftwood after Luiz came off, so Willock could have offered something getting forward and letting Partey sit back and help shield the CB’s.
    Just don’t get what it takes for Xhaka to get dropped for a game. He is too static on the offense, takes too long getting rid of the ball, and doesn’t have near enough pace to get back and help defend.
    With addition of Partey, we don’t need Xhaka to help organize, Partey can do that job.

    1. durand, I could not agree more on Xhaka. I have never rated him. I saw right from his start at Arsenal that he was too slow in thought and action and extremely immobile(a terrible handicap, esp for a midfielder).




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