Should Joe Willock go out on loan to protect his value?

Joe Willock’s Future Must be Protected

It is very clear, even from the previous window, that Arsenal are targeting a move for a midfielder who can offer creativity through the middle. Even with the emergence of Emile Smith-Rowe, Arsenal will still look to sign someone who can rotate and cover the position. There is also the possibility that Arsenal resume their chase of Houssem Aouar in the summer (which they should, if they are a serious club).

All of this leaves Joe Willock in a quandary. If Arsenal get in their creative midfielder, he will be surplus to requirements. With the possibility of Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi still around, it makes a place for Willock really difficult. This would not be such an issue had Willock grabbed the many opportunities he had been afforded to take a place in Arsenal’s midfield. But unlike Smith-Rowe or Bukayo Saka, he simply has not been able to, especially in the Premier League.

It is easy to imagine that this is all Joe Willock has to offer: being swallowed up by the monsters of Premier League football – but that would be wrong. Willock is not at his best the way a player like Elneny is. He is still just 21 and naive. Arsenal must be very careful not to have another case of a Serge Gnabry or Jeff-Reine Adelaide. We must ensure that Joe Willock has every opportunity to up his game and develop. That would be good news. Even if he ends up not good enough, an improved Joe Willock can be sold for more money. Or even kept as an homegrown squad option.

But it is very clear that Joe Willock should not be taking more minutes in the EPL with Arsenal — at least for now. How do we then ensure that we squeeze the maximum out of him?

A loan is the answer. Joe Willock must be loaned out to someplace where he can be affordws plenty of minutes. Chelsea use the loan system very well, and we have done the same with even more talented prospects in Smith-Rowe and Reiss Nelson. Send him to the championship. If he improves massively, great news. If he just does OK, great news again. It means we can sell him for more.

Whatever we do, Joe Willock’s value must be protected and maximized. A loan is the best way to ensure this.

Agboola Israel

Tags Aouar Smith-Rowe Willock


  1. I prefer Arsenal send Torreira to another club and use their existing midfielders, instead of sending Willock out and get another CAM. We can’t afford another adaptation period from a new midfielder

    1. if it’s Buendia though, he’s already played in EPL, and has been in England for a bit too. So impact theoretically should be quicker. But your reason is why i would prefer we stay away from players like Brandt.

      1. Maybe Buendia would be good under Arteta’s system, but his attacking stats in EPL aren’t great. It’d be understandable if he played as a deep-lying playmaker in EPL, but he played as winger and CAM

        I saw Brandt/ Draxler in World Cup and they didn’t perform well. None of them could get past the opponent and that’s why I’d prefer players who’re good in duels

    1. Eddie going to Wolves would be a great piece of business for Arsenal. He’s been good in the EL, but I don’t see him as good enough to play for Arsenal in the PL.

      1. I bet Nketiah would thrive under Arteta’s 4-2-3-1 with Smith-Rowe, Saka and Martinelli behind him, since they played together in reserves. Like Aubameyang, Nketiah isn’t a good false nine

        1. The problem is Eddie or Balogun. We might lose both but I rate Balogun as better and we do not need both.

  2. Willock and Nelson have been offered to Norwich (on loan) as part of the deal to bring Buendia here.

  3. Willock as of now isn’t good enough, a loan would be the best. If we can loan out Nelson and Willock in exchange for Buendia as the rumours suggest, that would be amazing. Still think it will be hard to convince Norwich to let Buendia leave mid season, especially as they are top in the championship and Buendia has been integral for that.
    Should have gone for him last summer when Norwich was just relegated instead of chasing an Aouar deal that never happened and left us short. Edu is not filling me with confidence as a technical director with a lot of questionable decisions, I hope he proves me wrong.

    1. 👍 Max Aarons as well. The Championship is a tough league and these Norwich City players are now more experienced.

  4. The thing is. I think willicknis not a CAM.

    He has a great engine and can turn the ball over and travel with it. He reminds me of Aaron Ramsey in his style. Willock should be playing behind ESR next to partey. I think with his engine and obvious skills that need some work he will make things happen in this team.

    Cebellos should be sent back and xaka and elneny should be deputy to TP and willock. Although I am.not adverse to getting aour or sabitzer to step in the CM also.

    But my preference for midfield is


    Elneny had a good few games but cannot carry the ball and set up assists. He is a defensive option at best.

    Cebellos is a spinning top. Dunno why we loaned him again

    1. I agree Shortboygooner. Willock hasn’t had a run of games where he has started alongside ESR, Saka and Martinelli. Any player needs that sort of opportunity to properly develop, not coming on for 15 minutes as a sub.

  5. I agree a loan is what Wilock needs right now.
    I love his energy and drive but final 3rd decision making stresses me out.
    I feel a loan could improve his composure.

  6. Willock is being used incorrectly. He has shown his ability to drive with the ball and pass incisively from back to front through the middle, comfortable on the ball and receiving it from the CBs. He isn’t a number 10, where Arteta has tried to play him. He can make late runs into the box from CM. He played many games in the premier league last year and we say he is not good enough to play now?

  7. Yes. He’s not going to cut it at Arsenal unless he takes a drastic turn in his development. Best thing to do right now is to make him disereable to a Championship club by having him play in Championship and getting 7-10mill from the sale. Unfortunately he’s not even been good enough that we can charge the price LFC demand for their youth players…

  8. Great call again Agboola. Willock is at the moment a nearly man. Not quite good eNough for a regular place in the Prem but a definite prospect. But at 21 in todays definaionof what is young he is is NOT that young any more. With only a handful of true exceptions ,ALL thos ewho maje the REAL top leverl are showing that quality beyond doubt by age 21. And there is the quandary the club has with all similar level players to Willock.
    It is cruel game at top level and it is also a cutthriat business Thi sis is part whayb players arepaid so much and provided they make a career somehwer inpro football I alway wish them wel but do not pity them for not making the grade at TOP, TOP level. They could be disabled , havelearning difficulties or no special talent as so many people have but who get on with life and keep a smile on their face , so please do not expect crocodile tears for a willing and fit young man who still may, though probably will not, have a career at our club.

    I expect what is most likely is that he IS loaned and does quite well but not well enough for the team I expect us to be a year from now. His time to prove himself at Arsenal has come and has PROBABLY already gone. I agree with Al that a decent sale fee, once Covid is finally over , is the most likely eventual outcome.

  9. what value? anyone willing to pay north of 8m we should grab the cash immediately and help fund a quality AM

  10. Spot on Jon.I would really love Willock to make it with Arsenal as he strikes me as a very decent, conscientious young man who has most of the attributes needed in a professional footballer.Unfortunately, he lacks composure in the final third and finds it difficult to make the right decisions even when he has done well in the lead up.He is not a natural finisher and tends to snatch at the ball, unfortunately.At this stage in his career, a loan would seem eminently sensible.As an aside, it may surprise critics of Willock to learn that he is the fastest player at Arsenal over 50 yards.This into from an impeachable source.

    1. Grandad too many people here give up on young players like Willock, who have not had an extended run in the EPL. He was playing well in the Europa League, but only had games in the EPL when the team was underperforming.
      Unfortunately Arsenal’s track record at identifying who to keep and who to move on, has been very hit and miss.

  11. Only if he is coming back again, he showed some talent so it’s better to keep him close. Send Willian away if you can!

  12. totally agree short boy gooner . willock is a better option than elneny and Xhaka no more than a back up . I’d also like to see maitland with partey as an option. I’m over these old hacks in our mid field !

  13. Grandad too many people here give up on young players like Willock, who have not had an extended run in the EPL. He was playing well in the Europa League, but only had games in the EPL when the team was underperforming.
    Unfortunately Arsenal’s track record at identifying who to keep and who to move on, has been very hit and miss.

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