After giving some of his fringe players the chance to shine on Thursday night, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta would no doubt have been happy with what he saw.
The Gunners ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over Dundalk in the Europa League, making it two wins from win to start off their journey in Europe.
And one of the team’s goal-scorers on the night – Joe Willock – had a particularly impressive game in the middle of the park.
The England U21 international was joined by Mohamed Elneny in central midfield, and with the Egyptian tasked with holding and screening the defence, Willock was allowed to join in with attack.
That licence to roam forward was partly why he got himself on the score-sheet, receiving the ball inside the penalty area after an Arsenal counter-attack, before unleashing a fierce drive into the roof of the net.
Despite the fact some of his stats seem very questionable – he lost possession 20 times and lost 13 of his 14 duels – his overall energetic presence and willingness to take risks would have been pleasing for Arteta.
Speaking after the game, Willock himself said that he was pleased with his contributions, saying: “I thought I did well, I thought I contributed with a fair amount. That’s what I want to do, I want to score goals, create goals and to get an assist and a goal, I’m really happy to do that. I just want to push on and do it more in the Premier League.”
The £45k-a-week earning starlet will be hoping that his performance against Dundalk gives Arteta some food for thought going forward.