Arteta praises Willock, confirms Arsenal return

Newcastle United's Joe Willock celebrates scoring their side's third goal of the game during the Pre

Newcastle United's Joe Willock celebrates scoring their side's third goal of the game during the Premier League match at St James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne. Picture date: Friday May 14, 2021. - Credit: PA

Mikel Arteta has applauded Joe Willock’s loan spell at Newcastle United ahead of Arsenal’s final Premier League game of the season against Brighton this Sunday.

Willock has scored in each of his last six appearances for Newcastle, including winners against West Ham and Sheffield United as well as late equalisers against Liverpool and Tottenham.

Arteta discussed Willock’s time at Newcastle, saying: “I am really happy that things have gone so well for him because of the potential that Joe has.

"I think it was great for him to go away and have a different experience. He has grabbed that opportunity in a really remarkable and positive way.

“He will be back with us [next season], we will have those conversations with him and plan the next years for him.”

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Arteta added: “He got the responsibility and the task to go to Newcastle and help them go where they want. I am telling you that I spoke with the coaching staff, and they are extremely happy because he was a key part of contributing to get the objectives they had, so that is a real positive for him.”

Willock has played an influential role in guiding the Magpies to secure safety since joining them on loan at the start of February, scoring seven goals in 13 appearances and helping them move 14 points clear of the drop zone.

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He has since become the youngest Premier League player to score in six consecutive Premier league games at 21 years and 272 days.

Willock followed on from 44 appearances with Arsenal last season, mostly off the bench, with an impressive showing in the Europa League group stages earlier this campaign, scoring three goals and providing three assists in four starts.

 However, his Premier League appearances with Arsenal were fleeting, seeing just two starts and only 235 minutes of action during the first half of the season before being loaned out.

Willock will be hoping his impressive spell at Newcastle will give him the platform to kick on with his Arsenal career next season.

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