Paul Merson offers advice to Arsenal’s Joe Willock after Newcastle United loan
Paul Merson wants to see Joe Willock given a chance in the Arsenal team after his sparkling loan spell at Newcastle United
Paul Merson has urged Joe Willock to fight for his place in the Arsenal team next season after his successful loan spell at Newcastle United.
Willock moved to St James’ Park on a six-month loan deal in the January transfer window and enjoyed a highly successful run of form with the Magpies in the closing stages of the campaign.
The 21-year-old midfielder scored eight goals in 14 games for Newcastle United and also netted in each of his last seven appearances for the Magpies in the Premier League.
He ended the campaign with 11 goals and three assists to his name for both clubs, and his fine form has prompted talk of a potential permanent move to St James’ Park.
As things stand, however, Willock is due to return to The Emirates, and former Arsenal star Merson feels that the youngster has done enough to show he is ready for a regular run in the Gunners team under Mikel Arteta.
Speaking in an interview with Sky Sports, as quoted by Metro, Merson said: “Three weeks ago maybe, you’re looking and thinking, ‘What’s he gone there for?’, he’s sub for Newcastle now, and now he’s just beat the record (youngest player in Premier League history to score in seven consecutive games).
“If he comes back now, he’s got to be in the team.
“No disrespect to Newcastle, but Newcastle are not above Arsenal and we’ve got to be honest with that.
“I would come back and have a go. I would 100 per cent come back and say, ‘You know what, I want to give it a go at Arsenal’, and if he isn’t in the team in six months, your agent goes in, or he goes in and goes, ‘You know what, I’m never gonna make it at Arsenal!'”
Arsenal ended up in eighth place in the Premier League table for the second successive season this term as they missed out on a place in Europe.