Joe Willock has posted an emotional farewell to Arsenal on social media after completing his transfer to Newcastle United on Friday.

Newcastle United midfielder Joe Willock, on loan from Arsenal, during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St. James' Park, Newcastle, England on 12 March 2021. Copyright: Simon Davies
Newcastle United midfielder Joe Willock, on loan from Arsenal, during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St. James’ Park, Newcastle, England on 12 March 2021. Copyright: Simon Davies

After many years at Arsenal rising through the ranks of the academy to the first team, Joe Willock ended his journey with the Gunners on Friday to complete his much-rumoured move to Newcastle United.

In the end, a deal seemed the best idea for all parties. Willock gets a transfer to a club where he can feel important and play a starting role, Arsenal get the best part of £25m and a sell-on clause on top of that, and Newcastle get a player who scored seven in their last seven.

Given Willock wasn’t starting in North London, it seems best for him and for Arsenal to cash in and reinvest.

Still, it’s undoubtedly an emotional departure. Losing one of your own is never easy, and Arsenal is pretty much all Willock has ever known. That definitely came across in his farewell message to the club on Instagram.

“Goodbye, Arsenal, thank you for making a young boy’s dream come true,” Willock said. “I’ve been at Arsenal for 15 years and I’ve been a fan my whole life.

“I came to Arsenal at 5 years of age with a dream and love for the club and you gave me the opportunity to fulfil them dreams. To all the managers, staff and players I want to say thank you for making me who I am today.

“This iconic club will always have a special place in my heart but it’s my time to move on and continue to show the world what I can do. Arsenal Family, thank you for everything.”

After Arsenal posted a thank you message to the young midfielder on their own Instagram page, Willock responded: “Thank you for the best 15 years of my life”

With the Arsenal academy graduate departing on such good terms, you wouldn’t totally rule out a return someday. But for now, Willock has a six-year deal with his new club and will hope to start writing a new chapter in his career. Good luck to him.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.