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Arsenal boss gives honest answer on Joe Willock situation after Steve Bruce comments

2 months ago
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Steve Bruce was talking about the Joe Willock situation on Friday night.

The NUFC Head Coach quizzed on the lack of any signings and in particular what exactly is happening, if anything, with Joe Willock.

Steve Bruce giving us double-speak, not for the first time, stating that Newcastle United have been doing their ‘utmost’ to sign Joe Willock, then in the next breath, admitting that only two weeks before the season starts, NUFC haven’t made a bid for a single player.

Bruce once again in his comments apparently trying to blame Arsenal for the fact that Newcastle are the only Premier League club not to make a single signing this summer. Absolutely embarrassing from the NUFC Head Coach, blaming Arsenal for not making a decision yet BUT giving no justification as to why Newcastle haven’t made any bid at all for the midfielder, to push them for a decision.

On Sunday, Arsenal were in action against Chelsea, a friendly at the Emirate seeing the Gunners lose 2-1.

Joe Willock replaced Mohamed Elneny with 20 minutes to go and then with the score at 2-1, struck a shot that hit the bar and clearly crossed the goal line. However, the match officials didn’t give it and with goal line technology not in use, for whatever reason (nor VAR), the equaliser wasn’t awarded.

After the match, Mikel Arteta was asked about the future of Joe Willock amongst others, telling the official Arsenal site:

“Granit [Xhaka] is going to stay with us.

“He’s a player that we rate and value so much, he’s a key member of our squad. He’s trained two days. He wanted to play today and I think it’s very clear commitment from his side that he wants to be here.”

‘Hector Bellerin, Joe Willock and other uncertain futures…?’

“I don’t know.

“I’m going to coach them and train them, and respect and look after everybody because they are our players.

“Hopefully they can have their minds here and prepare here because they are Arsenal players and our job is to make them as good as we can.”

My reading of Mikel Arteta’s comments is that, Joe Willock is up for grabs this summer.

However, is it the case that the choice for Arsenal is that they either sell Joe Willock if somebody meets their valuation and help offset their summer spending (another £50m spent in recent days for Ben White), or alternatively keep him this season in their squad and see whether he can force his way into the team?

In other words, why would Arsenal consider loaning out Joe Willock again?

He turns 22 on 20 August and has clearly suggested in his spell at Newcastle that he can impress AND score goals in the Premier League, as his unlucky ‘goal’ strike suggested as well yesterday against Chelsea. Loaning Joe Willock out again would then leave open the possibility of his value drastically falling if he has a poor season, especially if heading to a club like Newcastle set for a relegation battle again.

Regarding the transfer window / Joe Willock situation, Matthew Raisbeck of BBC Newcastle bringing us these three quotes from Steve Bruce on Friday night after the Burton friendly – 30 July 2021:

‘Doing our utmost’

“We are doing our utmost to try to make Joe Willock work, we are doing everything we possibly can.

He is Arsenal’s player and we must respect that. But, we can only explore it for so long – and that time is going a bit short.”

‘Can’t wait forever’

“We can’t wait forever.

“We’ve made it pretty obvious all summer that he’s our number one target, so we’ll keep working away at it and see if something can develop.

“But, there comes a cut-off period.”

‘We haven’t made a bid for anybody – yet’

“We haven’t made a bid for anybody – yet. We’ve got one or two irons in the fire.

“I’m confident that we’ll bring two or three new players in, but we’ll have to wait another week or so.”

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