By Kevin Phillips

15th Aug, 2021 | 8:00am

Phillips fumes at Arsenal as 'really strange' Willock transfer confirmed

Kevin Phillips claims Arsenal have made a mistake in selling Joe Willock to Newcastle United.

The Sunderland legend and Arsenal fan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, expressed his reservations over selling the midfielder.

Newcastle confirmed the capture of Willock on Friday (13th August) after hunting his signature all summer.

He joins on a 6-year deal with the fee understood to be £25million including add-ons.

The boyhood Arsenal fan leaves the club after making 78 senior appearances.

Willock, 21, sparkled while on loan at Newcastle last season, scoring eight goals in just 14 games.

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Phillips can’t understand why the midfielder has been let go.

“I find it really strange, Willock is a quality young midfielder,” Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.

“When there was talk of Smith-Rowe going as well, I was wondering what on earth are Arsenal trying to achieve?

“From a supporter’s point of view, and myself being one, why are we letting these players go.

“I think Willock could have played a big role for Arsenal this season.

“Obviously Arteta didn’t see him in his plans so in that regard it’s good that he’s let him go.

“It’s also good for Willock that he has the chance to go and start his career rather than stagnating at Arsenal.”

As revealed by Football Insider this summer, Aston Villa tried repeatedly to sign Emile Smith-Rowe from Arsenal.

Villa failed after bids of £25million and £30million were rebuffed by the Gunners.

In other news, Arteta under ‘extreme pressure’ after ‘shocking’ Gunners news via Sky.