‘We will explain the reasons when we can.’ Arteta hints at player leaving Arsenal

Mikel Arteta has hinted that Joe Willock is leaving Arsenal this summer after leaving him out of the team for their match against Tottenham.

Willock spent the second half of last season on loan at Newcastle United and he thrived under Steve Bruce.

His stunning loan spell for them has caught the attention of several top clubs with the Magpies also looking to sign him again.

However, it seems Arteta would rather keep him in his squad and make him a part of his plans for the new season.

The academy graduate could follow in the footstep of the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe to become the next player to break into the first team from the academy.

However, fans were curious that he wasn’t involved in the match against Spurs and Arteta was asked about his absence and that of Rob Holding after the match, and the Spanish gaffer responded as quoted by Metro Sport‘Two different reasons.

‘With Rob he wasn’t fit enough to play and with Joe we will explain the reasons when we can.’

Willock may have performed well at Newcastle United, however, he might not fit into Arteta’s style of play and it could be best for the Gunners to cash in on him now.

Tags Joe Willock


  1. Ornstein already reported a fee of 20 million has been agreed with Newcastle.
    It’s believed Willock is in Newcastle at the moment we had our game.
    Fair price.
    Good luck to him, hope to see him excel.
    Not everybody will be a superstar at Arsenal, some kids will have to go become bigger fishes elsewhere.
    No crime in that.
    I just want to see us sell more players before the window closes. I don’t care if we bring in two top signings late. As long as we are able to sell some of our average players, I’m fine

    1. Your namesake is also on the way out for about the same amount.Thats 40Million,enough to bring Odeegard on a permanent or we have to look for another 30M from somewhere and Madison is ours

  2. I really cant accept that Arteta would give Willock away without giving him a proper chance but i would’ve put my wages on it. For me Willock is the future of Arsenal, we need to score goals and he can. If we got 40 mil offers for him, then i can see some modicum of logic, otherwise i see incompetence.

    1. Reggie, I echo your sentiments, but in life people want the best of what can be benefictial to them (Arsenal being the exeption).So NUFC found Joe to be the best from the rest of AFC fringe / starting players – Elneny, Xhaka, Nelson, AMN so they went for him. Secondly the lad is loved and appreciated over there, if it was a NUFC player banging 7-8 goals even as a super sub or starter, our fans would have begged to sign the lad for 50M or more. Just read the comments how our fans instead of accepting that the lad did his best ,his efforts are downplayed. On the other hand, Ozil’s 1 asisst and 2 goals were being overhyped and so on and so forth. For a transfer to happen, the player should be willing to move, in this scenario, Joe must be happy to move. Anyways with Xhaka staying, he would only learn to move the ball in circles around our own half.
      I like Joe a lot, I wish him best of luck and may he be an England internation soon. I’m sad his moving for only 20M. I’m sad that Elneny remains, Kolasinac remains, Bellerin remains, Laca remains, Xhaka remains. The spine/core of non performers is still there,I wish Mikel luck to achieve a top 10 finish.Not very confident of the cups either.

  3. I hope Willock will succeed at Newcastle and hope he scores a goal against Arsenal, so everybody are reminded, that it was wrong to let him go. Goalscoring midfielders are highly rated IMO.

    1. And u have nerve to call yourself an Arsenal fan Very bizarre hoping an ex player scores against team he supports Willock had three years or sio to prove himself and failed to do so at Arsenal he had more than enough chances Good luck to him but he will be lucky yo score half a dozen goals next season

      1. Mate, if Joe scores one, our team having “quality players” or should I say “players on quality wages” should bang 3-4 goals and win the match. Willian , Laca, Auba all over 180 k/week, so why should we worry about a Joe Willok goal? Ade, RVP scored and even celebrated! Joe is payed by NUFC, so it becomes his duty to score goals.Just because our midfield is incompetent to score goals and a section of our fan base accept mediocrity, NUFC and their fans may not accept our ideology. Before you comment on Joe’s 3 years, remember we as a team play short passes and pass the ball around the midfiled allowing the opposition to regroup making it diffcult to score, hence not only Joe, even the “greatest playmaker” could score 1 goal in 18 games.
        Once we give up this “pass me the ball and I’ll pass back to you” and opt for a direct counter fast paced game, we will never achieve much. Take a look at Thomas Partey – from a man machine at AM to nobody at AFC, that sums it all, good for the young man, he earns a very decent wage over here!Wether Joe scores half a dozen goals as a NUFC player, should hardly bothe rus, we should be concerned if Xhaka, Willian, Pepe, Foalrin, Eddie can score half a dozen and Laca, Auba a dozen and half.

      2. Question? what will us fans do when one of the other top 5 clubs come sniffing around when he does well at Newcastle (I give it 2 seasons)

  4. When a manager gives away our “gold”, the manager is lacking the DNA of an real Arsenal man. We should not sell some of our best players from the Arsenal Youth Academy. We have a lot of young very, very talented players at the moment. They are the future of Arsenal At least they should be given a REAL chance in the first team. Good grief.

    1. I couldn’t agree more or more strongly, total lack of foresight for what we have and a failure last season and this to build on it.

      1. Yet, talk “wantaways” like Xhaka and Bellerin into staying when they can’t be sold and even extending their contracts to maintain their non existent “value”.
        If they can’t be sold for Arsenal’s current value, how can they be sold for more, unless their form changes markedly to the positive?

    1. To me it means that not all youngsters can make it but those that do are a cut above. If Willock goes I think it is a 50 50 decision. He made it very clear that he enjoyed his time in Newcastle and Arsenal are happy enough to cash in

      1. I am pretty sure at every player from the Arsenal Youth Academy do have a dream to play in the Arsenal first team.
        I feel sorry for Joe Willock. He has done EVERYTHING to convince Arteta. He scored a goal (wrongly not given) in his pre-season match and he has exceeded the wildest expectations at Newcastle. What more could he have done?
        Selling Willock without giving him a real chance in the first team is beyond me.

        1. He has had chances – look at Wikipedia to see how many
          Of course Willock has done his best and in no way am I decrying it but it hasn’t worked sufficiently at Arsenal
          All the best to him

          1. But Sue, under Artetas management but not his coaching, Willock has played in the prem, improved and been successful in his loan, scoring lots of goals. Come back and not given him a chance. Forget wenger or emery, Willock has performed for Arteta in the Europa league first and on loan next at Newcastle. If willock is improving we are making a grave error of judgement yet again.

          2. I think Willock wanted to go – a career decision for him. Stay and be on the periphery or go and play each week

            I don’t think the club could afford to have him on the periphery and Newcastle are paying a decent fee which I sincerely hope is put to good use. Arsenal need to sell and the ones we are stuck with are not going to fetch Willock’s fee between them.

          3. So Arsenal keep the rubbish for themselves and sell on their good prospects because they have value.
            If a Club is trying to improve its squad, this does not appear a logical business strategy. 🤔

    2. The message is do the right thing, go on loan, put yourself in the shop window by doing well and on your return, without being given a chance at the Club you grew up at, you will be sold off to the highest bidder.

      1. Ozziegunner, what AMN did was smart, go on loan, do precious little or nothing at all, return back and happily collect the wage. Maybe he learnt a lesson or two from Kolasinac or his friend Ozil. Rewards for non performance or errors in performances. The Mikel way or the highway. No surprises we are eigth twice in a row. In Jan if Liverpool or United call Rowe or Saka, Mikel will happily trade them for some 30-40 grand, and our “fans” will say it is good to cash in the player. If Mikel is not out of the club by December, we can prepare to say goodbye to Tierney, Rowe, Saka and Martenelli the next summer. You can Partey to that list too.

  5. Probably because Arteta doesn’t think Willock is “ready.”

    However, Arteta thinks himself “ready.”

    On the one hand he judges players; then loans, freezes out, and/or benches. While with the other asks fans to wait and not judge him yet?

    18 months enough time to judge a part time young player, but not a manager?


    Seems odd when results matter with players, but not the manager himself.

    Curious how Arteta rates himself, and based on what.

  6. It is a slow process moving players signed on long term contracts during the prosperous pre covid days.
    Willock at 20m is a fair price.
    A 32 m buy back clause is reasonable too.
    Goes a little against the Arsenal policy of fostering young players but he had 3 years and couldn’t make it. Arteta said he would be ruthless so this an example of this policy.
    Would he would sell Lacazette Pepe and Aubameyang at a huge loss though?
    Arsenal just needs the money.
    Chambers Bellerin Nketiah Nelson AMN Holding are not good enough but most have to stay with White as quota players.
    If we sell a quota player we must try to replace with another quota player.
    Willock for Aouor.
    Bellerin for Aarons.
    Niles for Ramsdale.
    Lacazette is too old to sell with no resale value and on 180k p/w.
    Auba 32 on 350k p/w is going no where.
    Torreira is worth less than 4mill in todays market.
    No one will pay a bean for Kolasinac or Willian.
    Arsenal has done the best they can.
    Mind you three seasons ago Emery found a way with this Motley crew to make the EL final and a point of CL.
    3rd year in for Arteta and with several new signings I believe 4th place should be the minimum requirement.

  7. It makes sense…Martinez was the revelation from the previous season, when we’ve been clamoring for a decisive presence in and around the box. and he was quickly sold, this past season, Willock performed in a similar capacity, albeit while on loan, at a time when we’ve desperately craved secondary scoring from the midfield and he was summarily disposed of in a like fashion…when will this club ever learn?!?

  8. We’ve seen the ‘Guendouzi’ syndrome. Arteta scapegoats and underrates some players and then offers long contracts to Xhaka, Willian, Bellerin. Something is not right at Arsenal.

  9. I hope arteta is not using Willock money to buy Ramsdale( shef utd) keeper that even conceded yesterday and lost again……

    1. I simply don’t understand the “hype” about signing Ramsdale. Ramsdale is average. Johnstone is better IMO..

      1. We are into the final few days of our new season start and we haven’t got a second keeper. Im sorry i dont trust the plan because it is a shambles, especially if we are selling willock to get a second keeper.

      2. 👍 Websurfer, and Onana is cheaper and has greater potential than both, but is not British.

  10. He had his time last season before December and we had awful time. He went to newcastle and he excelled. Good luck to him.
    Selling him is not a problem, but, it will become problem if we fail to replace him with another creative midfielder like Aouar or maddison who can support Supper ROWE from the middle.
    It was clearly evident today that we need another creative midfielder to support smith, we had all the ball in first half but could not muster chances from middle. Block the wings and arsenal if finished.
    Another concern is willock should command 25 to 35 million pounds. An home grown player, 21years, premiership experience, goals scoring player…… Who will help our marketing strategy?

  11. Just like I’ve said and as Someone here pointed out earlier; the philosophy at Arsenal differs from that of Newcastle hence the style play.
    At Arsenal Willock will be expected to pass the ball around (include those through balls and final passes) and be creative. This is in contrast with what is expected of him in the ‘smash and grab’ style at New castle that allows him to score from no where.
    Does he have those ball playing abilities and skill set needed from the kind of CAM needed by Arsenal?
    As far as I know he has struggled when trusted with these responsibilities at Arsenal.
    I stand to be corrected.

    1. Your assessment of Willock’s performances during his time at Arsenal are so true.

      Had Arsenal won against Chelsea and Spurs in the pre-season friendlies and scored at least a couple of goals in each of those matches, nobody will be bothered if Willock goes. In two games, we scored just a solitary goal from a corner and the closest we came to scoring another goal was when Willock’s goal was ruled-out.

      When our team is struggling for goals and losing matches because of the lack of goals, a wise manager will throw the existing system out of the window and put the player on a scoring streak on the pitch and change the system that suits that special player.

      Willock’s skill is putting the ball in the back of the net, which our squad currently lacks, and he must be tasked with scoring goals and not burdened with showing creativity and playing cute passes. Passing the ball around the park doesn’t win games, but on most occasions, scoring a goal does.

      1. VasC, to think that you, I and other misinformed individuals thought the game was about putting the ball in the net at the appropriate end.

  12. I think some of our fans have become delusional!

    We have to sell players at some point!! We are not PSG, City or Chelsea, where it’s just buy buy buy.

    We’re getting almost 30 million for a player has barely done anything in Arsenal shirt. He’s a squad player. Excellent business!

    Our fans complain when we undersell players, now they’re complaining about getting a great offer. Arsenal can’t win!

  13. It is 25m I watched on sky. I have mix feelings about this. I believe this is happening first because we couldn’t shift out the intended players first. Anyway goodluck Joe.

  14. I hope Arteta didn’t really say ” We will explain later blah blah! It’s sounds pathetic. Couldn’t he just say, ” I don’t see a place for him in my vision. I prefer solid players like Xhaka White and Elneny, who don’t shine but fit into my game plan.” WE fans have seen Arteta ball in all its tedium but understand that this is in the manager’s DNA.

    1. Joe. S, that is what Arteta said as reported. You don’t get into the Arsenal media conferences unless you toe the Corporate line and ask the “right” questions.

  15. This could be another massive mistake for Arteta and Edu, Willock proved his worth big time at Newcastle and his goals saved them from a massive hole they were in, given a run in the side I think he would be a big success here.
    Sort it out Arteta time is running out fast,I can see another struggle coming our way.

  16. Willock is the only goal scoring midfielder Arsenal has right now and he is leaving. The problem for Arsenal lately has been scoring goals and when a player is a solution for that problem he is being sold. Unless Willock is replaced with Madison or Aouar, Arsenal are in for big trouble the coming season. Anyway best of luck Willock, you did your best to convince the manager, not your fault.

  17. Fans are back in stadiums. Lethargic Arteta football and formation of 9 defenders and one striker would not be tolerated. Mind u we also hate playing like scared chicken against bottom 10 bound teams. Watch out Arteta you cannot afford patience with arsenal fans

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