Mikel Arteta confirms Joe Willock will return to Arsenal after impressive Newcastle United loan

Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock has impressed during his Newcastle United loan spell
Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock has impressed during his Newcastle United loan spell (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta has confirmed Joe Willock will return to Arsenal and be reintroduced to his first-team squad following his impressive loan spell at Newcastle United.

Willock, 21, has scored seven goals in 13 appearances since joining Newcastle in January, including six in his last six matches.

The midfielder’s form has helped Steve Bruce’s Newcastle climb away from the relegation zone and up to 15th ahead of the final day of the season.

Asked whether Willock will return to Arsenal this summer, Arteta said: ‘Yes, 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.

‘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.

‘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.

Mikel Arteta is ready to reintroduce Willock into Arsenal's first-team
Mikel Arteta is ready to reintroduce Willock into Arsenal’s first-team (Picture: Getty)

‘He’s got a contract and that’s going to be here. That’s for sure.’

England U21 star Willock has made 78 appearances for Arsenal since breaking into the first team in 2018.

The Gunners are ninth in the Premier League table ahead of their final-day clash against Brighton.

Asked to assess Arsenal’s season, Arteta said: ‘Well if you are saying it’s a step back because we haven’t won a title, then it has to be related.

‘In the league we have two more points than last season, but it’s nowhere near where we want to be.

‘The fact that we don’t have a title so close to grab because we’re not in the Europa League final makes it difficult to see more positives but we were knocked out in the last-16 of the Europa League last season and a lot of things have been done that were very necessary in this season that are not related to results.

‘But at the end of the day, we are here to win.’

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