Arsenal are facing the same transfer conundrum as Manchester United over Newcastle hero, Joe Willock.
Willock has established himself as a fan favourite on Tyneside since joining the Magpies on-loan from Arsenal in January, scoring three crucial late goals to pick up five points against Spurs, West Ham and most Liverpool at the weekend.
Just like Jesse Lingard at West Ham, Willock’s good form out on loan has seen his stock – and value – rise significantly, creating an interesting dilemma for his parent club Arsenal.
Do the Gunners cash in on the midfielder’s increased value this summer? Or does Mikel Arteta hope the 21-year-old’s good form continues once he is back at the Emirates?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is facing a similar conundrum with Lingard at Old Trafford, but it seems unlikely Arsenal and United will reach the same outcome when the transfer window reopens.
Lingard has developed into one of West Ham’s most important players since making the move to the London Stadium, scoring nine goals and contributing four assists in just 11 appearances.
West Ham boss David Moyes has already indicated he wants Lingard to remain in east London into next season, and crucially, the Hammers have the cash available to make a move happen.
By contrast, Newcastle’s owners appear unlikely to sanction a move for Willock, with the midfielder’s value having soared since his arrival at St James’ Park.
Where Willock might have cost around £15m at the start of 2021, his value has now soared to £25m.
The Magpies aren’t a club known for splashing the cash, with Joelinton’s £39.6m arrival from Hoffenheim in 2019 the only time Mike Ashley has agreed a deal over £25m – and we all know how that worked out.
Newcastle’s case for signing Willock isn’t helped by the futures of Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Eddie Nketiah either.
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The pair both look set to leave the Emirates in the summer, increasing the likelihood of Willock remaining in north London to fulfil the club’s homegrown player quota.
So while Lingard looks set to make his loan deal permanent, Willock will have to fight it out for his place among Arsenal’s cluttered midfield.
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