Arsenal winger Chris Willock is destined for an exciting future, according to Arséne Wenger. The talented 18-year-old, who has been a regular in the under-18 and under-21 squads in recent months, has continued his development having signed a professional deal with the Gunners around this time last year.
Willock has been regularly training with the first-team and impressed, so much so, that he's been included in matchday squads recently too. Along with the likes of Krystian Bielik, Julio Pleguezuelo and Ben Sheaf, he's amongst a highly-rated crop of youngsters in his age-group, and has already featured for the England national side too at various youth levels.
Arséne singles Willock out for refreshing praise
As quoted by the club's official website, Wenger said that Willock is "a very gifted player", who has "natural strength" and talent to go with it. "He can have a go at people, get past people in one-on-ones."
Wenger also said that in spite of the quality at his disposal currently in terms of attacking options, he'd be "very comfortable" to play Willock in the first-team now, but there are players like Alexis Sánchez and Danny Welbeck obviously ahead in the pecking order.
"If I had to play him, I would have no fear in doing so. Next season I think he will be a player who will get to feature in the team."
Arsenal's future - especially in attack - is very bright
These are definitely some interesting words from the boss, especially considering the emergence of talented youngsters within Arsenal's ranks. Ainsley Maitland-Niles, also 18, has been influential during his loan spell at Championship side Ipswich Town, whilst Reiss Nelson recently turned 16 and is already impressing at under-21 level.
Alex Iwobi made the step up to first-team stardom after excelling in the Emirates Cup, and 18-year-old creative midfielder Jeff Reine-Adelaide has also looked composed and confident in possession when called upon too.