According to the Northern Echo, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta looks increasingly likely to keep Joe Willock – denying him a potential return to St James’ Park this summer.
Scott Wilson reports that the 21-year-old is set to play in their play in their pre-season friendly at Hibernian tonight and will almost certainly remain at The Emirates should he perform well over the coming weeks.
The Echo also state that Arteta has been impressed with the midfielder’s ‘approach and attitude’ since he returned from his summer holiday earlier this month.
We’re believed to have held initial talks with Arsenal, with Willock Steve Bruce’s ‘number one transfer target’, however it seems they are increasingly reluctant to sell the England U21 talent.
It’s also thought that uncertainty hanging over Emile Smith-Rowe’s future – following a flurry of bids from Aston Villa – has also left Arsenal reluctant to cash in on Willock after his superb loan spell at St James’ Park.
Not the news we wanted to read, but there’s still plenty time for things to change.
Who knows, perhaps he doesn’t convince Arteta over pre-season, Smith-Rowe stays and we make a bid that temps Arsenal into selling.
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