'You know what' - Rio Ferdinand sends Arsenal message as Newcastle United eye permanent deal for Joe Willock
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes Arsenal should keep hold of Joe Willock this summer.
The on-loan Newcastle United midfielder has excelled since arriving on January deadline day with four goals in 10 appearances.
Indeed, Willock’s last three goals have all come in three consecutive substitute appearances, scoring late to earn vital draws against Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, and three points at home to West Ham United.
His contribution has lifted the Magpies nine points above the Premier League relegation zone with five games left to play.
Steve Bruce has publicly stated he wants to hold talks over signing the 21-year-old on a permanent basis, though his price tag is believed around £20million.
Ferdinand, however, has urged Mikel Arteta to take another look at Willock, who he praised for his “personality” and “temperament”.
The former England man told his YouTube channel: “You know what, I like Joe Willock
"He’s someone at Arsenal that I would have kept. He’s a good young player.
“If Arsenal don’t take him back and have him around that squad… I don’t know, man.
"I really like him and I like his personality. He’s not shy to come on the big stage and play and perform.
“And the last three goals he’s scored have been massive goals for Newcastle. It shows he’s got the temperament."
Before moving to St James’s Park on a temporary basis, Willock had started just two league games for the Gunners this campaign with most of his involvement coming in the Europa League.