Football News

“I don’t understand it” — Rio Ferdinand hits out at Arsenal’s decision to let Joe Willock leave

By Ben Green

Published: 12:36, 10 August 2021

Rio Ferdinand has slammed Arsenal’s decision to let Joe Willock join Newcastle United on a permanent basis.

Willock, 21, spent the second half of last season on loan at St. James’ Park, during which time he netted eight goals in just 14 Premier League games.

He famously netted in seven consecutive matches, becoming just one of nine players to pull that off in Premier League history, alongside Jamie Vardy, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Daniel Sturridge, Thierry Henry, Ian Wright, Emmanuel Adebayor, Alan Shearer and Mark Stein.

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Incredibly, that ludicrous purple patch also made him the first midfielder to bag in seven successive fixtures, and the second Newcastle player alongside Shearer, firmly enhancing his reputation as exceptionally-prolific No. 8.

The 21-year-old would have been hoping to return to north London this summer and ask questions of Mikel Arteta, but it would seem he could be once again donning the colours of Newcastle this forthcoming campaign, with Steve Bruce’s side closing in on a £20m deal.

Ferdinand has since hit out at the Gunners for even entertaining an offer for Willock, especially if he returns to Tyneside, with the former England international believing the talented tyro can be a real difference-maker on his day.

“I don’t know how Arsenal have let Joe Willock go,” Ferdinand told his FIVE YouTube channel. “The guy scores goals from midfield man. I really like him.

“I don’t understand that. Newcastle have done unbelievable well to get him by the way, I think he’s a really good talent.

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“He scores goals, he expects to score, he’s a good mover, makes good runs.

“With Arsenal, I know they’re building and Arteta is trying to build something and he’s setting the foundations there, but they’re in no man’s land.

“They’re not a threat to anybody. You don’t consider them a real threat at all and it’s not just the Arsenal that I played against with Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Martin Keown, Tony Adams, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole.

“It’s just a very different time now for Arsenal. It’s sad to see because I really like Arsenal.”