Arsenal have dropped a considerable hint over the future of midfielder Joe Willock after he was left out of the Gunners’ squad to take on Hibernian.
The Gunners travelled to Easter Road on Tuesday evening as their preparations for the 2021/22 season got underway.
Mikel Arteta’s selection was made up of both youngsters and experienced heads, and it was also notable that a few of Arsenal’s wantaway stars – including Hector Bellerin, Willian, Sead Kolasinac and Eddie Nketiah – were all selected to play.
However, one notable name was missing and that was of Willock who did not feature for the Gunners in any capacity, despite the midfielder having travelled up to Edinburgh with the rest of the squad.
Willock’s future certainly remains up in the air following an impressive loan spell with Newcastle United last season.
The 21-year-old, who progressed through the Gunners academy, joined the Magpies on loan and was in stunning form, netting eight goals in just 14 games from the centre of the park.
It was reported that Newcastle boss Steve Bruce was keen to secure Willock on an extended deal and according to reports from The Telegraph, the Magpies are confident that the midfielder wants to re-join.
His absence then will certainly have raised a few eyebrows at St James’ Park, especially after comments from Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta suggesting that Willock could be handed an opportunity to impress with the Gunners.
Talking at the end of last season, the Spaniard said: “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 task to go to Newcastle to help them go where they want.
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“I’m telling you that I spoke with the coaching staff and they are extremely happy because he was a key part in contributing to get the objectives that they had. So that’s a real positive for him.
“He’s got a contract and that’s going to be here. That’s for sure.”
Willock currently has two years left to run on his current Arsenal deal and is valued at £14.4m by transfermarkt.