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Arteta gives final verdict on Willock’s Arsenal future

Joe Willock, Newcastle United
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Joe Willock’s impressive form on loan with Newcastle United has prompted rumors of a permanent exit from Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta plans to welcome Joe Willock back to Arsenal for next season.

The 21-year-old, a Hale End academy product, has impressed on loan at Newcastle United. He has scored seven goals in only 13 appearances for the Magpies, including a goal in each of his last six Premier League games.

Willock played a crucial role behind Newcastle avoiding relegation and the club’s manager Steve Bruce would love to sign him on a permanent deal. However, Arteta has no plans to sell.

“For sure [Willock will return], because he’s got a contract, and that’s going to be here. That’s for sure,” said Arteta in a press conference on Friday afternoon.

“I am really happy that things have gone so well because of the potential that he has.

“I think it was great for him to go away and have a different experience, he has grabbed that opportunity in a really positive and remarkable way and he will come back to us, we will have a conversation 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.”

Arteta was speaking ahead of Arsenal’s final game of the season at home to Brighton in the Premier League on Sunday.

Willock, meanwhile, will play his last match for Newcastle on the same day away to the relegated Fulham.