Mikel Arteta drops Joe Willock bombshell on Newcastle United

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Mikel Arteta is ready to give Joe Willock a chance at Arsenal next season.

Willock has been a revelation since joining Newcastle United on loan in January. The midfielder has scored four goals, most recently netting a 95th-minute equaliser in last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool at Anfield.

Steve Bruce wants to re-sign Willock in the summer, but Arteta could yet keep him at the Emirates Stadium.

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Asked if the 21-year-old would be given a chance to prove himself at Arsenal, manager Arteta said: "He has a chance. He’s a player we really like, so, at the end of the season, he’ll come back here, and then we’ll make the decision again for what is best to move forward."

Joe Willock celebrates his goal against Liverpool.Joe Willock celebrates his goal against Liverpool.
Joe Willock celebrates his goal against Liverpool.

Arteta says he’s not been surprised by the impact Willock has made at Newcastle.

"No, because he has got some great qualities, some unique qualities to play in that position," said Arteta. "He’s a real threat in the opponent's box, physically he can do anything you ask for, and has got the right mentality, is good technically, and he’s English.

"We knew all this, but he needed game time, he needed to expose himself away from our environment, and we believe as well that Newcastle, Steve and his staff, is the right place for him to do that."

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Speaking ahead of Sunday’s home game against Arsenal, United head coach Bruce said: “We have to have a conversation with Arsenal. We don’t even know if he’s available.

"I do know that Joe’s enjoyed it here. He’s done very well for us. We’re delighted for him. He’s enjoyed the area, and he’s been quite successful.”