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Mikel Arteta’s Europa League plan is working and how Joe Willock can become a regular starter

Willock ready for the Premier League

Joe Willock’s performance against Molde re-emphasised his credentials as to why he should be handed an opportunity in the Premier League.

Willock, a born and bred Arsenal fan who has been at the club since the age of 4, continues to add balance to the Gunners’ attack as he plays in an advanced role which helps him contribute to more than simply being a central midfielder.

“He could do better because he has the talent to be at the top level,” David Luiz said after the game.

“He understands that every single day and for me, it’s a pleasure to play with him, especially because he’s humble. He has a great present and a great future.”

He was involved in all four of Arsenal’s goals against Molde. The strength he showed to rampage into the box which culminated in the first of two own goals was magnificent and a sign that he’s on the right track.

The second was a result of a clever one-two with Granit Xhaka and an acute pass which was poked in by Molde defender substitute Sheriff Sinyan.

Willock’s darting run into the box dragged the Molde defence and saw Bukayo Saka’s pass feed through to Nicolas Pepe for the third, before the starlet got himself on the scoresheet with an excellent finish late on.

Mikel Arteta remained coy on whether he’ll be giving Willock game time in the Premier League soon, but it remains likely with the amount of fixtures Arsenal have to contend with over the winter period.

“Does he want to start in the Premier League? Of course,” said Arteta.

(Image: Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Getty Images)

“But it is part of his development. Look at Joe 12 months ago and look at Joe now, the player he is, how he is maturing and how much he has improved.

“He is on the right path and if he continues like that and continues to be consistent, he will have his chances.”

Willock thrives in games where the opposition sit deep. Games against the lower Premier League sides are where he could be deployed as someone who…