Mikel Arteta has provided the latest on Joe Willock amid speculation that he could be set to join Newcastle this summer.
The Hale Ender was absent for Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat to local rivals Tottenham in their final pre-season fixture before their Premeir League opener against Brentford on Friday.
He has been linked with a move back to St. James’ Park where he spent the second half of last season, becoming the youngest player in Premier League history to score in seven consecutive matches.
And now Arteta has provided an explanation for why Willock was not even on the bench for the game at the Tottenham Hostpur Stadium.
The 21-year-old was not the only player absent on Sunday, with Rob Holding also failing to make the short trip to the other end of the Seven Sisters Road.
When asked why the pair were not in attendance Arteta revealed there were two separate reasons for both.
“Two different reasons,” the Spaniard said. “Rob wasn’t available, he wasn’t fit enough to play today. With Joe we will explain the reasons when we can.”
When pressed on if he could offer any more detail on Willock’s absence Arteta went on to add: “It’s all I can say now. When I can say more I will let you know.”
Goals from midfield has been a real problem for Arsenal since Arteta took over, and they once again looked toothless as they slumped to a disappointing defeat to their fierce rivals at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Arteta however, revealed that he was not concerned about the issue and remained focus on making the most of the talents available to him in the Gunners squad.
“What we have, we have to maximise,” he said. “Worrying about things that we don’t have at the moment there is no point.
“My energy is all in the players that we have at the moment, to make them play better, to be a better threat and win matches.”
Source by Football London