Arsenal: Joe Willock to stay with Gunners next season, says boss Mikel Arteta

Joe Willock celebrates scoring in Newcastle's win over Sheffield United
Willock's goal against Sheffield United saw him become the youngest player to score in six consecutive Premier League games

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says that in-form midfielder Joe Willock will stay at Emirates Stadium next season.

The 21-year-old has scored seven goals in 10 Premier League starts after joining Newcastle on loan in January.

Manager Steve Bruce said Newcastle "would love" to sign Willock in the summer, but Arteta is not looking to sell the England Under-21 international or send him back out on loan.

"He has a contract and is going to be here, that's for sure," said Arteta.

"I am really happy things have gone so well for him because of the potential Joe has. It was great for him to go away and have a different experience.

"He has grabbed that opportunity in a really positive and remarkable way, and he will be back with us. We will have those conversations with him and plan the next few years with him."

Willock, who is under contract to 2023, scored three goals in the Europa League for Arsenal this term before joining Newcastle until the end of the season.

He scored on his debut, a 3-2 win over Southampton in February, before scoring in his last six games, helping the Magpies secure their top-flight status for another season.

"He got the responsibility and the task to go to Newcastle to help them go where they want," Spaniard Arteta added. "I spoke with the coaching staff and they are extremely happy because he was a key part of getting the objective they have. That's a real positive for him."

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However, Newcastle manager Steve Bruce hopes to "test Arsenal's resolve" to hang on to Willock, who has been with the Gunners since the age of four.

His header in Wednesday's win over Sheffield United saw Willock beat Romelu Lukaku's record (2015) for being the youngest player to score in six consecutive Premier League games, and become the third Newcastle player to do so after Papiss Cisse (2012) and Alan Shearer (1996).

"We always said that it was a double-edged sword, and we have to respect that he is Arsenal's player," Bruce said.

"We'll see over the summer whether we can test their resolve, but I'd like to thank Mikel and [assistant coach] Steve Round and the football side of it because they were instrumental in letting us borrow him for a few months.

"It's been great, he's been great for us. When I see what he's done in the last few weeks and the other names who have scored six in six, it's quite remarkable, so well done to Joe."

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