Arsenal might not have the most to spend this summer, but the quality they hold in their youth ranks should be utilised to drag the club out of the current conundrum. They have a hidden gem in Joe Willock, and according to veteran Mesut Ozil, the youngster will be a ‘big player’ for the Gunners in the long run.
The iconic playmaker struggled last season through form and fitness, but his affinity with Arsenal is worthy of admiration. The 30-year-old former Die Mannschaft international has heaped praise on Willock following his side’s 2-1 pre-season win over Bayern Munich.
“He was strong last year as well. So of course, if you really work with the first team together always, you feel more comfortable and you believe in yourself more. I think this season, especially in the pre-season he shows his quality and I think he can help us this season.”
Ozil told Arsenal.com (as cited by Sky Sports).
Why Willock Is Tipped To Make It Big At The Emirates
The 19-year-old is a youth product of the esteemed Arsenal academy and has represented England in several youth ranks. He is currently a regular for the Three Lions U20s and has made significant strides in club football over the past few months. Willock fired in a brace versus Blackpool (FA Cup 3rd Round tie) as well as a goal against Vorskla Poltava in a Europa League group stage encounter to showcase his talent while operating from the middle of the park.
The prodigy, so far, has appeared 17 times for the Gunners and is touted to make many more first-team outings next term. But he must keep on improving and impressing in the upcoming friendly fixtures, and therefore, stake a claim in Unai Emery’s immediate plans.
Why He Should Be Handed A Major Role Next Season
The Gunners are prioritising reinforcements in their vulnerable backline as well as wide attacking slots. Although they are working on a deal to bring in Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid, Willock would be more suitable in the ‘Aaron Ramsey role’ for similar attributes. The Welshman has left for Juventus after a decade-long service and his powerful runs, positioning into the penalty area, work-rate and technical traits would be missed for a while.
Willock, known for his offensive movements and an eye for the goal, might be viewed as an alternative in the attacking midfield role. But the fans must stay patient, and the gaffer should hand him enough minutes to gain confidence and justify his reputation in North London.
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