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Arsenal Youngsters Maitland-Niles, Willock Join West Brom, Newcastle United On Loan 

Arsenal Youngsters Maitland-Niles, Willock Join West Brom, Newcastle United On Loan 

Arsenal duo Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Joe Willock have joined West Brom and Newcastle United respectively on loan till the end of the season.

Both loan deals were concluded on transfer Deadline Day on Monday.

West Brom manager Sam Allardyce thought he was going to land Maitland-Niles last week, but the chance appeared to have gone when his interest became public.
Southampton and Leicester also asked about the player.

However, Arsenal did not want to let Maitland-Niles join the Foxes and the Saints withdrew their interest.

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The Gunners did not want the 23-year-old – who can operate at full-back and in midfield – to join a club who are in contention for a Champions League place, while Southampton felt it was taking too long to reach a deal.

That allowed West Brom to move back in and the transfer was concluded before 23:00 GMT deadline.

On his part Willock, 21, made 16 appearances across all competitions for Arsenal this season, including seven in the Premier League – his last start coming in a 2-1 home defeat against Wolves on November 29.

The emergence of Emile Smith Rowe reduced Willock’s opportunities of regular game time under Mikel Arteta, while Arsenal also signed Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid on loan last month.

Willock has represented England at U16, U19, U20 and U21 levels and will provide competition in midfield at St James’ Park for Newcastle boss Steve Bruce.

“I’m delighted to bring Joe to Newcastle until the end of the season,” Bruce said.

“He is a very exciting and talented young player who can get up and down the pitch and can score a goal from midfield.

“He has made a very decent impact at Arsenal after coming through the ranks and to make nearly 80 appearances for the club by the age of 21 says much about his development, ability and character.

“He is very keen to come here and test himself and he’ll be a great addition to the squad.”

Willock signed a new long-term contract at Arsenal – a club he has been associated with since he was four years old – in September 2019.

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