The former Gunners striker believes a promising academy graduate can be the all-action midfielder that Mikel Arteta’s side are crying out for
Joe Willock boasts the potential to be Arsenal’s new version of Aaron Ramsey, claims Kevin Campbell, with the promising playmaker billed as a “striker’s dream”.
The 21-year-old midfielder has reached a stage of his career where he needs to be seeing regular game time.
Arsenal have been prepared to offer the highly-rated academy graduate the minutes he needs, with Willock one of few home-grown stars not to have been sent out on loan.
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Mikel Arteta has found a role for the England U21 international within his plans, but none of his six outings this season have come in the Premier League.
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Campbell believes it may be time for that selection call to be tinkered with, with Willock capable of following in the footsteps of a Wales international.
Former Arsenal star Ramsey, who is now on the books at Serie A giants Juventus, was a useful source of goals and assists from deep throughout an 11-year spell in north London.
Willock is considered to boast similar qualities, with Campbell claiming that he could be the one to help misfiring Alexandre Lacazette rediscover his spark in a number nine berth.
“Joe Willock, I am telling you now, you can see that he’s starting to grow into that role when he comes into the team now,” ex-Gunners striker Campbell told Highbury Squad.
“He’s a striker’s dream. Honestly, when he plays and with Lacazette, he would make Lacazette’s job 50 per cent easier, because he runs beyond, a bit like how Ramsey used to.
“Willock’s got energy to burn, he runs behind. It’s very difficult to pick him up.
“I like this young player. He’s another one, you don’t ever see him moan, groan or anything. He gets on with it. He gets in the team and he’s always involved in goals.”
Willock now needs to convince Arteta of those qualities, with the Arsenal boss fully aware that a man who has impressed through Carabao Cup and Europa League outings is knocking on his door.
The Spanish tactician has said: “I mentioned with Joe that I’ve been really impressed with the way he’s handled the situation of not having much game time in the Premier League.
“The reflection of that is the way he’s played in the Europa League when he had the minutes or the Carabao Cup. He has a chance like everybody else.”