Steve Bruce’s Joe Willock reaction proves Arsenal could save a fortune in transfer market
Arsenal: Willock makes a hilarious blunder during letter game
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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta should take note of Steve Bruce’s comments on Joe Willock – which could save him a fortune in the transfer market. Willock struck late for Newcastle to seal a dramatic 3-2 win over West Ham at St James’ Park on Sunday. The Arsenal academy graduate is on loan to the Magpies until the end of the season.
Arsenal are in the market for an attacking midfielder, with Arteta keen to keep Martin Odegaard beyond the end of his loan this summer.
However, in Willock they have a player who could help solve issues in that position.
Emile Smith Rowe has emerged as a real prospect at No 10 and Willock could provide capable backup to his fellow Hale End graduate.
Despite not turning 22 until August, Willock has already racked up 78 appearances for Arsenal.
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He has shown he has an eye for goal, netting 11 times for the Gunners.
Willock has the happy knack of being in the right place at the right time, popping up in the 18-yard box to score.
He has done that in his last two outings for Newcastle, netting a late equaliser in the 2-2 draw with Arsenal’s north London rivals Tottenham before Saturday’s header against West Ham.
Following the 3-2 win over the Irons, Bruce made it clear he would want Willock to stay into next season.
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Bruce said: “We would love to keep him here. He is the type of player you’d love to build your club around.
“Whether we can or not I’m not quite sure.”
Wanting to build a team around Willock shows how highly Bruce rates him as a player.
Willock got his chances in the first half of this season under Arteta, scoring three goals in 17 appearances.
His best performances for Arsenal have undoubtedly come in cup competitions, most notably the Europa League.
Speaking after Willock’s exit in January, Arteta insisted he was a player he thought highly of.
“Joe is a young player with great ability who is progressing very well and we are happy with his continued development,” Arteta told the Arsenal website.
“At this moment in his career, Joe needs to be playing regularly. At Newcastle United, he is going to a very good club with a top quality manager and staff.
“We all wish Joe the very best at Newcastle until the end of the season.”
Willock has had to settle for appearances off the bench of late.
But earning a reputation as a super-sub may not be the worst thing, as Arsenal could do with depth in that position and lessen the need for a permanent Odegaard deal.
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