Arsenal supporters in the Transfer Tavern have been in fine voice this week after seeing their team record their first Premier League victory of the season on Saturday.
Unai Emery’s men went into their clash with West Ham at the Emirates Stadium having lost to Manchester City and Chelsea in their opening two matches, thus leaving them pointless ahead of the visit of Manuel Pellegrini’s Hammers, who themselves were also without a point from their first two games. And despite falling behind to Marko Arnautovic’s opener, the Gunners hit back through Nacho Monreal, Danny Welbeck, and an own goal from Issa Diop to secure all three points.
As such, there have been many delighted Arsenal fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are turning their attentions towards what young players may be able to break-through under new boss Emery this season.
Yet there is one man who certainly won’t be doing the business for the Gunners in the near future, and that is 20-year-old sensation Chris Willock, who left the North London giants last summer to pursue a career at Benfica.
And following a decent first season at the Portuguese giants’ B team, the Gunners may already be regretting letting the 20-year-old forward leave 12 months ago.
The England Under-20 international joined Arsenal’s academy at the tender age of five and made his way up through the youth ranks at the North London heavyweights, going on to appear for the club’s Under-18 and Under-23 teams on a regular basis.
And with nine goals and nine assists in 40 appearances for the latter, it was clear that Willock had genuine ability in the final third of the pitch, thus earning the 20-year-old two senior appearances for the Gunners, both of which coming in their run to the fifth round of the EFL Cup back in 2016.
But that was as good as it got for the forward during his time at Arsenal, as Willock made the move to Portuguese heavyweights Benfica last summer following the expiration of his contract at the Emirates Stadium.
And while the 20-year-old hasn’t yet appeared for the club’s senior team, he enjoyed a solid campaign with the B side last term in netting three goals and laying on two assists in 30 league appearances, and has started this season brilliantly as well in scoring once and laying on two assists in just three appearances.
Thus, it seems that Willock has an extremely bright future in the game, and were he to continue to produce the goods for Benfica in the years to come, Arsenal may already be regretting letting him go 12 months ago.
Arsenal fans… what do you think? Let us know!