Andries Jonker believes Arsenal youngster Chris Willock has the potential to become a top player at the club.
The head of the Gunners academy was watching as the skillful attacker beat three Dinamo Zagreb defenders to score a stunning goal in a Uefa Youth League game on Wednesday.
Having also won the penalty that allowed Arsenal to take an unassailable 2-0 lead, Willock was an obvious choice for man of the match.
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Fans of Dinamo Zagreb were so impressed with the 17-year-old that they gave him a standing ovation when he was substituted in the 77th minute, and Jonker has been quick to praise him too.
“We have high expectations of Chris,” he told Arsenal Player. “We know he’s a very, very talented player who can decide a match. He did that, but he has to develop as well."
Willock, one of three footballing brothers, first came to prominence when Arsene Wenger called him up to the first-team for a pre-season game against Boreham Wood in July 2014.
After that game the Arsenal manager said: “He’s a very young boy, and I wanted him to have a run-out with the big boys to see how much he has to do.
“But technically and tactically he integrated very well. Of course it’s natural that he lacks a bit of power at that age but when he gets that he will be a very interesting player.”
His progress continued last season, and Wenger decided to take him on Arsenal's pre-season tour of Asia along with fellow youngsters Alex Iwobi, Dan Crowley and Gedion Zelalem.
Willock is now starting to break into the Under-21 team, making three substitute appearances so far this season. If he continues to score goals like this (inserted below), he is likely to find himself in Wenger's Premier League team sooner rather than later.
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