Mikel Arteta’s Friday morning comments on Joe Willock’s future are anything but what we wanted to hear.
When asked if the 21-year-old would be back at Arsenal next season, the Spaniard said “for sure” – explaining that he’s taken his chance to impress, has huge potential and will have talks at The Emirates soon to “plan the next few years for him.”
The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards reported just yesterday that sources close to Arsenal believed they were ‘open’ to the idea of selling the midfielder this summer – also stating that Newcastle were putting together a bid for the player, believing he was ready to leave the Gunners for regular first-team football.
That said, Arteta’s comments less than 24 hours later paint a VERY different picture: Here’s what he said when asked if he had a future at Arsenal:
“For sure because he’s got a contract and that’s going to be here. That’s for sure.
“He has grabbed that opportunity in a really positive and remarkable way and he will come back to us.”
“I am really happy that things have gone so well because of the potential that he has.
“We will have those conversations with him and plan the next years for him.”
“He got the responsibility and the test of going to Newcastle to help them get where they want to.
“I spoke with the coaching staff there and they are extremely happy because he was a key part of contributing to get the objectives that they had.
“That’s a real positive for him.”
The Chronicle’s Mark Douglas has reacted, believing the ‘sobering’ quotes point towards a summer of back and forths between the two clubs – insisting they won’t sell cheap, with talk of a ‘£20m asking price’ seeming optimistic now!
Let’s hope this is Arsenal pushing for a better fee and keeping their options open. After all, they’re not going to lay all their cards on the table, something that wouldn’t help them in their search for the highest possible fee or a potential replacement.
Worrying comments and not what we wanted to hear, but fingers crossed there’s a deal to be done.