Chris Willock’s adventurous move to Benfica is an exciting one and could prove important for British starlets in the future.
That’s according to an opinion article in The Sun from Dave Kidd, who has praised the 19-year-old’s decision to leave Arsenal in search of regular minutes elsewhere in Europe.
Moving away from family and friends, learning a new language with plenty of unfamiliar experiences that Chris will be exposed to, it takes bravery and ambition to actually carry it out.
As opposed to the usual season-long loan elsewhere across England’s various tiers of football, Willock could potentially earn himself a regular starting spot in the Benfica first-team.
It’s unlikely at present but not impossible to envisage Willock playing Champions League football in the not-too-distant future.
It would be the result of hard work and impressive performances which justify his inclusion within the squad, although a highly-rated forward like himself will be hoping to earn an opportunity sooner rather than later.
Willock’s move has been treated with surprise for a few reasons, mainly due to the risk involved with a move abroad at such a tender stage in his career. However in Kidd’s article, he stresses the importance of embracing this decision as opposed to criticising it.
England won the U20 World Cup last month and almost instantly, the reaction from critics and supporters alike was to bemoan the lack of those same players getting opportunities with their parent clubs.
English youngsters will have to be more bold and innovative if they’re honest and want to play first-team football on a regular basis.
For the vast majority of them, their long-term future would be better suited elsewhere with a club they’d be more appreciated at and not seen as an opportunity to make sales profit from.
Although Arsenal are not a club seen as the type to stockpile, Willock’s decision to leave and start fresh in a new country is one that could become the norm in a few years’ time.