Mikel Arteta revisits 'difficult' Newcastle United decision

Mikel Arteta’s predicted a warm welcome for Joe Willock when he returns to the Emirates Stadium with Newcastle United.

Willock joined the club on a permanent deal in the summer after a successful half-season loan on Tyneside last term.

Newcastle take on Arsenal tomorrow looking for their first Premier League win of the season, and Arteta was asked about the £20million-plus sale of Willock, 22, ahead of the game.

“I think it will be really nice to have him (back at the stadium),” said Arteta, who also spoke of his “admiration” for new United head coach Eddie Howe at his pre-match press conference. “We all love and like Joe, obviously. It was a difficult decision to make to let him go, but I think he’s shown that’s what he needs to play the minutes that he’s finding there – and find a new challenge.”

Arteta believes that Willock will get a warm welcome. Arsenal’s head coach said: “He knows the reception he’s going to get.”

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