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20 players feature but no Joe Willock – Arsenal arrange short notice friendly against Millwall

2 months ago
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Joe Willock was conspicuous by his absence on Saturday.

Arsenal taking on Millwall three weeks before the Premier League season kicks off in a pre-season friendly.

The Gunners winning 4-1 with goals from Calum Chambers, Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pepe and Folarin Balogun.

The Arsenal starting 11:

Okonkwo, Chambers, Holding, Mari, Tierney, Partey, Elneny, Pepe, Smith Rowe, Nketiah, Aubameyang

Plus substitutes used:

Hein (for Okonkwo 46), Lokonga (for Elneny 46), Lacazette (for Nketiah 46), Cedric (for Mari 60), Tavares (for Tierney 60), Balogun (for Aubameyang 71), Maitland-Niles (for Partey 71), Nelson (for Smith Rowe 71), Willian (for Pepe 71)

As you may have spotted, no Joe Willock, either amongst the starters or subs.

In midfield, Arsenal fans had their first sighting of new signing Albert Sambi Lokonga, with the likes of Thomas Partey, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Emile Smith Rowe also featuring.

Joe Willock has only had 25 minutes of pre-season football so far. Injured and ruled out of the away game at Hibs, then a sub appearance at Rangers, before no sign of him yesterday.

The supposed Newcastle United target was due to fly out on Wednesday with the rest of the Arsenal squad to Florida for a pre-season tournament, including matches against Inter Milan and Everton. However, that trip was cancelled last minute due to a Covid breakout, no number of cases given, nor any names of individuals. Not surprisingly Arsenal fans on message boards were linking the absence of Joe Willock and others with the midweek news of some in the Arsenal camp having tested positive for the virus.

Arsenal next play on Sunday (1 August) against Chelsea at the Emirates and Newcastle fans awaiting any news on Joe Willock, or indeed any other possible signing.

Now on day 47 of the summer transfer window there are 37 days remaining and Steve Bruce is telling Newcastle fans there is very little (any?) money to spend and we have to be patient. The NUFC Head Coach ridiculously claiming that nearly every other Premier League club is in a similar position. The reality is that Chelsea are the only other PL club not to buy anybody yet and the other 18 clubs have spent some £400m+ on 50+ players, with many other deals in the pipelines.

Steve Bruce seemingly indicating that the Newcastle signings will (if they happen) be all loans and no guarantee even of those happening, especially if any decent sized loan fee is to be paid.

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