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'Willock will come back' - Arsenal to keep Newcastle loan star, says Arteta

13:09 GMT+4 21/05/2021
Joe Willock Newcastle 2020-21
The Gunners midfielder has enjoyed a superb loan spell at St James' Park

Mikel Arteta says he is planning for Joe Willock to be part of his plans at Arsenal next season.

Willock is currently starring for Newcastle, who he joined on loan in January, and has scored in each of his last six Premier League appearances.

Newcastle boss Steve Boss has made no secret of his desire to keep hold of the 21-year-old, with reports in the north east claiming an offer to sign him on a permanent deal is being prepared.

What has been said?

When asked whether Willock will come back for Arsenal next season, Arteta said: “For sure because he's got a contract and that's going to be here. That's for sure.

“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.”

What has Willock said?

After scoring his sixth goal in six games during the 1-0 win against Sheffield United on Wednesday, Willock thanked the Newcastle fans for the support they have given him and admitted that there were discussions to be had about his long- term future.

“I want to say thank you for making me feel so welcome and thank you for greeting me with open arms,” he said.

“I hope you’re satisfied with what I’ve given for the club so far and hopefully there’s more to continue in the future. I’m not going to promise anything, but the conversation is going to be held.”

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