Arsenal Urged to Loan Out Fringe Star

Arsenal, Nicolas Pepe (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
Arsenal, Nicolas Pepe (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images) /

Internal solutions are all Arsenal can rely on at the moment.

Left to stew over the misery inflicted from that Aston Villa defeat, Arsenal have to act quick over the international break to rectify the issues that were laid bare on Sunday more than ever before under Mikel Arteta.

All manner of suggestions have been made in an effort to return the club to the attacking, and ultimately pleasing to watch, side that supporters have been smitten with throughout the majority of the Premier League era.

Dipping into the Under-23 squad or granting those who’ve warranted a top-flight berth through their Europa League performances is one such solution, with Joe Willock gaining notoriety among a fanbase who largely groaned at his inclusion last season.

However, Glenn Hoddle has insisted that the Hale End graduate needs to be earning regular first team minutes, away from Arsenal. Speaking on his podcast, The Glenn Hoddle Footy Show, he praised the midfielder but urged his club to loan him out in January.

"“There’s a really good attacking midfield player at Arsenal, Joe Willock, who should be in the England U21s, in my opinion. I think he’s a really good talent and I think he’ll score goals for fun. He likes to get in the box, he has a lovely guile about him. Can see the picture. Good vision. Brave with the ball…“But he’s not in the U21s because he’s not in the first team at Arsenal. He’s a classic example of someone who is having to be held back.“There’s a lot of talent out there, but because they’re not playing at senior level they should be going out on loan. If Arsenal aren’t going to put them in, let them go out on loan. If he was playing in a senior team somewhere, he’d be in that (England U21) squad and then he would be progressing.”"

In defence of the former Tottenham manager (we don’t say that often), he’s not wrong.

Willock should be playing alongside Eddie Nketiah and Reiss Nelson in the England Under-21 side. He really should. Where opinions will differ, however, is that thrusting Willock out to somewhere like Germany – a new hotbed for English youngsters – would be discarding the only midfielder in the squad with a unique array of qualities.

His vision to make calculated surges into the box and bravery in possession are not exclusive to the Premier League, but they are to what Arteta has at his disposal.

Repeatedly attempting to plug square pegs in round holes, even a peg slightly rough around the edges has more chance of suiting our needs than those whose skills attend to differing requirements. It’s a matter of time, we hope, before a new solution is sought.

Top 4 Material?. dark. Next

Sending Willock out on loan in January eliminates a string to a diminishing Arsenal bow.