BARCELONA, SPAIN – AUGUST 04: Joe Willock of Arsenal looks on during the Joan Gamper trophy friendly match between FC Barcelona and Arsenal at Nou Camp on August 04, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
On Thursday, Arsenal starlet Joe Willock signed a new long-term contract. The deal proves what we all knew already: there are exciting times ahead.
Joe Willock has signed a new long-term contract. The exciting Arsenal midfielder has been at the club since he was four years old. Willock, who only turned 20 last month and has established himself in the Premier League rotation, now sees his future reportedly locked down until the end of the 2022/23 season.
These new terms are richly deserved after a superb start to the season. Furthermore, many people will tell you that Willock has developed immensely in the last 12 months. He has added goals and assists to his game and is beginning to use his freakish physicality and athleticism more effectively.
In my opinion, Willock is a foundational piece of the team. He is a unique player within the squad and someone who is still learning. The long-term prospect of a central midfield featuring Willock alongside Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira is an incredibly exciting one.
Upon the announcement, technical director Edu was complimentary of not only the Englishman but the club itself:
“We’re delighted that Joe has committed his long-term future to us. The hard work of the academy coaches and staff, Joe, his family and everyone behind the scenes have been key to the development of his potential. Bringing young players through to the first team from the academy is an important part of our approach and Joe’s progression is a good example for how we want to work in the future. Joe has shown hard work and determination to get this far. He’s continuing to develop and we look forward to him making a big contribution to the club.”
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Unai Emery had nothing but praise for his phenom too:
“Joe has progressed a lot in the last year. He is technically strong and has shown the confidence to take responsibility and play his game whatever the occasion or opposition. I’m looking forward to working with to help him develop further and fulfil his potential.”
Last season, Arsenal expressed a desire to bring academy players through to the first team in a more efficient manner. This announcement, along with the promotion of Freddie Ljungberg and multiple academy prospects, and the forming of a transition team, specifically designed to aid young players’ progression from the youth teams and into the senior squad, is further evidence of that commitment.
These are exciting times for Arsenal. These are exciting times for Joe Willock. He must continue to progress and take his chances, but his future looks bright.