Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock has spoken of his desire to carve out a first-team spot for himself in the Gunners line-up following his impressive performance in the Europa League last night.
Mikel Arteta named the 21-year-old midfielder in the Arsenal starting XI for the Group B meeting with Dundalk, and the player rewarded his manager with a superb goal just before the break.
Aside from getting on the scoresheet, Willock showed superb movement, the opposition defence struggling to cope with his runs from deeper positions.
The £20,000-a-week talent has struggled for game time this season, with just three starts in 2020-21 – two in the League Cup and the one last night.
In addition, Willock is yet to feature in the Premier League this term, but speaking to reporters after last night’s 3-0 win, he spoke of his discussion with Arteta over his hopes of more minutes.
“I am grateful to play for this team, to start from the beginning makes me happy and a proud moment for my family,” he told BT Sport, via BBC Sport. “Happy for the team and happy to score as well.
“He [Arteta] just told me to keep working hard. I told him I want to fight for my position and hopefully I will get an opportunity again.”
Willock is undoubtedly a talented young player who’s up against some tough competition for competitive minutes at Arsenal, but he certainly staked a claim with his superb display last night.
In addition, his desire for more game time in the Gunners XI and discussion with Arteta shows just the right kind of attitude and perseverance that helps make a team successful.