Rio Ferdinand has hit out at Arsenal after they reportedly agreed to allow Joe Willock join Newcastle United for £20million.
Willock had a brilliant end to his loan spell at St James’ Park, scoring in seven straight Premier League matches which equalled the record set by Magpies legend Alan Shearer.
The midfielder is still considered a squad player at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta after only making 78 appearances over four seasons for the Gunners.
And widespread reports have claimed that Newcastle have agreed a £20m fee to buy him from Arsenal this summer and he is expected to complete a deal soon.
But Ferdinand was critical of Arsenal for allowing him to leave after such a good season on loan but the former Manchester United defender reckons he will continue to shine at Newcastle.
“I don’t know how Arsenal have let Joe Willock go,” Ferdinand told his FIVE YouTube channel. “The guy scores goals from midfield man. I really like him.
“I don’t understand that. Newcastle have done unbelievable well to get him by the way, I think he’s a really good talent.
“He scores goals, he expects to score, he’s a good mover, makes good runs.
“With Arsenal, I know they’re building and Arteta is trying to build something and he’s setting the foundations there, but they’re in no man’s land.
“They’re not a threat to anybody. You don’t consider them a real threat at all and it’s not just the Arsenal that I played against with Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, Martin Keown, Tony Adams, Sol Campbell, Ashley Cole.
“It’s just a very different time now for Arsenal. It’s sad to see because I really like Arsenal.”
Magpies boss Steve Bruce had been worried that Willock had done too well on loan, he said last season: “To do it today for me at 21 years old and in a team that was toiling at the time a little bit, I’m delighted for him.
“He’s a smashing, smashing lad and he’s really enjoyed it up here. He’s really enjoyed it and I think his father’s enjoyed it too.
“It’s so refreshing to hear, when a lot of the problems we have – ‘Oh, we don’t want to go to the north east’ – he’s absolutely loved it, so has his father and I’m delighted all round.
“It’s been a double-edged sword because he’s probably done too well, but let’s see what happens. We’ll see over the summer whether we can test their resolve.”