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Arsenal’s ready-made hale end academy product holds the key to unlocking goals from midfield

Joe Willock for Arsenal against Rapid Vienna in the Europa League ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Getty Images

Arsenal scored just five times from central midfield positions this season (including attacking midfield). To put that stat into context, Arsenal’s loanee Joe Willock scored eight goals on his spell at Newcastle United. Joe Willock scored in seven consecutive Premier League games.

For Mikel Arteta’s men, goals from midfield have been an issue but that issue stretches back to something that arose a couple of years before Mikel Arteta took over at Arsenal. Aaron Ramsey left the club in May 2019 after agreeing on a pre-contractual agreement with Juventus early on in the 2018/19 season. Aaron Ramsey was a box-to-box midfielder who was renowned for scoring goals in big games such as the FA Cup Finals that the Welshman scored in during Arsene Wenger’s tenure.

With Dani Ceballos hinting that his second and last season in north London has come to an end through a lengthy Instagram post on his feed and with Martin Odegaard’s future looking uncertain, Joe Willock really has the possibility to elevate himself to a new level after a confidence-boosting end to his loan deal in the north-east. In spells during the early stages of the Europa League, Joe Willock had shown glimpses of what he was all about but had never been given a consecutive run of games to prove himself week in, week out which meant his progress as a professional first-team player was halted somewhat.

As the transfer window edges closer, there is talk about Arsenal targeting other attacking-midfielders and potentially not seeing Joe Willock and Emile Smith-Rowe as first choice players.

Emile Smith-Rowe at the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Getty Images

According to a report from The Athletic earlier today, Arsenal have a well-documented interest in the Emi Buendia. It is believed that Norwich City, who have recently been promoted to the Championship, would accept no less than £40m for the Argentine 24-Year-Old. Elsewhere, Arsenal have been looking at the possibility of employing Martin Odegaard on a season loan, similar to what they did with Dani Ceballos, or potentially paying around £40-50m for his services permanently. Potentially, despite there being no confirmed interest, Arsenal could go back to their 2020 summer transfer plans and reignite their interest in getting a deal or Houssem Aouar across the line for around £30m.

Joe Willock arrived back in London this afternoon after saying goodbye and thank you to his fans on Tyneside after a memorable experience in the north-east.

Arsenal have a ready-made replacement for Aaron Ramsey straight out of Hale End, Joe Willock. On his short yet impressive spell at Newcastle, he was used as an influential box-to-box player and his end product in front of the net was good too. Joe Willock has been at Arsenal since he was 4-Years-Old and it would be wholesome to see ‘one of our own’ being given consecutive matches worth of game time, starting from next season. The Gunners also have Emile Smith-Rowe who flourished when he was given minutes who is another player that could provide goals from the midfield and has proven just that.

Arsenal fans believe that Mikel Arteta has to put his faith in Joe Willock and start him in consecutive fixtures at the start of the season or put him up on the transfer market but getting nothing less than £35m would be a criminal offence.

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