Manchester City have recently emerged as one of the frontrunners to sign winger Chris Willock on a free transfer, with his existing deal expiring on June 30.
The 19-year-old youngster, highly-rated in north London, has yet to commit to improved terms amid reports he’s eager for regular first-team football.
Celtic, Everton and Borussia Dortmund are just a few of the clubs across Europe that have been linked with his signature, as a result.
We’re almost halfway through the month of June and no update has been given on his future, nor that of younger brother Joe – who was offered a scholarship deal but is yet to commit beyond this summer.
It’s fair to say that Willock was probably expecting a bigger squad role in the first-team than he has received, given Arsene Wenger’s comments about the teenager in 2014 and more recently last year.
He made his senior debut during the 4-0 away win over Nottingham Forest during last season’s EFL Cup campaign, whilst appearing once more off the bench against Reading in the following round.
With the level of squad depth in attacking options high, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Willock hasn’t been given more of an extended opportunity to showcase his ability in the first-team.
It’s a shame that he hasn’t and you can see he’s playing with frustration at youth level. Although he netted three and created eight assists during 19 Premier League 2 appearances last season, he was often trying too hard to impress when he should’ve focused on consistently doing the simple things right, while combining well to create chances.
He feels as though he’s at the age where he can play competitively, though there will always be questions about whether he can follow Alex Iwobi’s footsteps with a first-team breakthrough.
These doubts aren’t helped by the notion that there are always more promising youngsters coming through the ranks, such as 17-year-old Reiss Nelson, who has already been mentioned as someone who’ll feature in the senior squad next term.
If Chris does decide to join City this summer, Arsenal would be due a compensation fee under current rules, to be decided by a tribunal. He’ll find, however, that he won’t get first-team opportunities that he’s seeking at the Etihad either.