Newcastle United would like to keep Joe Willock but it looks like his price will be prohibitive if Mikel Arteta wants to sell him, which is not a certainty.
There are many arguments that could be made about why Arsenal should have kept Joe Willock and just not bothered with Dani Ceballos but I won’t go into those.
What is clear is that Willock has popped up at Newcastle with some massive goals against Spurs and Liverpool, scoring in his last three and winning points for the Magpies in all of them.
Arsenal play Newcastle this weekend and, while Willock is not eligible, Mikel Arteta has been singing his praises before the game. His comments also hint at a future for the 21-year-old at Arsenal.
“It was a difficult decision to let him go because we really like the player,” Mikel Arteta said.
“He needed more game-time and needed this type of experience. He has stepped in at big moments for them and scored some crucial goals so that is really good news because it is great for his development.
“From the position [Newcastle are] in, they’re going to come at us,” Arteta added. “They’re a really organised team, they’ve been playing much better recently so it will be tough.
“The amount of games that we are playing, every team has the capacity to make it difficult for you.”
The Huddersfield Examiner on Saturday reported that Steve Bruce is trying to find a cheaper alternative to Willock whom Arsenal value at £20m and who reportedly has reservations about returning to the club.
It’s understandable that Newcastle might have issues meeting that valuation, but it’s a reasonable price, especially when you factor in the English premium that seems to apply to most other English players, as long as they haven’t played for Arsenal.
Willock has two years remaining on his current Arsenal contract.