Mikel Arteta provides clarity on Joe Willock’s future after Arsenal midfielder misses friendly match

Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock missed the opening pre-season game against Hibernian due to an injury, manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed.

The Gunners lost their opening game of pre-season 2-1 and will face Rangers on Saturday as they complete their Scottish tour.

Arteta ’s selection at Easter Road made up of both youngsters and experienced heads, and it was also notable that a few of Arsenal’ s wantaway stars – including Hector Bellerin, Willian, Sead Kolasinac and Eddie Nketiah – were all selected to play.

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However, one notable name was missing and that was of Willock who did not feature for the Gunners in any capacity, despite the midfielder having travelled up to Edinburgh with the rest of the squad.

Willock’s future certainly remains up in the air following an impressive loan spell with Newcastle United last season.

The 21-year-old, who progressed through the Gunners academy, joined the Magpies on loan and was in stunning form, netting eight goals in just 14 games from the centre of the park.

And Arteta confirmed that will remain an Arsenal player “in the time that he’s here”.

“He wasn’t involved today because he had a little groin issue,” said Arteta.

“He trained yesterday really well but we didn’t want to risk him. Joe is part of our plans, he’s our player and in the time that he is here we will try to make the most out of him.

“He had a great experience on loan. He was I think he was one of the most important players for their survival.”

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