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Arsenal youngster Chris Willock wanted by Brentford on loan


GOALEXCLUSIVE

Arsenal youngster Chris Willock is being targeted by Brentford, who want to sign the 18-year-old on a season-long loan, Goal understands.

The 18-year-old, whose younger brother, Joe, also plays for the academy side, has been encouraged to gain experience by Arsene Wenger and academy chief Andries Jonker by spending the 2016-17 campaign on loan.

Championship side Brentford have a fruitful relationship with the Gunners, which has previously seen the likes of Wojciech Szczesny, Rhys Murphy, Chuba Akpom and - most recently - Jon Toral join the Griffin Park side.

Jack Wilshere has also lauded the youngster, saying that he has "improved" and is "one of those players that have a natural ability running with the ball".


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Willock was included in Wenger's squad for two FA Cup ties last season, with the Frenchman revealing that he would have no qualms about playing him in the first team.

"If I had to play him, then I would have no fear in doing so," said Wenger. "Next season, I think he will be a player who will get to feature in the team."

However, Wenger's attacking options for this season which include Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Serge Gnabry and Joel Campbell mean that it is unlikely that the England Under-17 international will force his way into first-team matters.

A versatile winger who is also able to play across the forward line, Willock is one of the club's most highly rated players and signed his first professional contract with the club in February 2015.