Quick read: Joe Willock must stake claim for bigger first-team role against BATE Borisov

Arsenal take on Belarusian outfit BATE Borisov in a Europa League clash on Thursday night. Despite this being the first leg of a knockout tie, Unai Emery will likely still use this fixture as an opportunity to rotate his team somewhat. 

These potential changes could see Joe Willock come into the Gunners’ starting XI. The 19-year-old has made four first team appearances this season, scoring three goals, as per Transfermarkt’s stats. That’s a very impressive return from the young academy graduate. If given another chance to prove his worth against BATE, he must be sure to take it. 

If the England under-20 international can shine when given such opportunities this season, then he could cement himself a greater role in Emery’s plans for next term.

With Aaron Ramsey set to leave at the end of the current campaign, and a limited summer transfer budget looking likely, the Spanish coach will welcome any internal solutions to filling the gaps in his squad. 

Willock can make himself part of the answer to the Gunners’ lack of midfield depth by consistently impressing this season. 

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