Chris Willock has left Arsenal to sign a five-year deal with Benfica.
The left-winger’s contract with the Gunners expires today and he has elected to move to Benfica, where he will initially play in the B team.
A player who has long been highly regarded at Arsenal, Willock trained with the first-team as a schoolboy and featured for Arsene Wenger’s side in a friendly as a first-year scholar, yet he had grown impatient at his lack of opportunities, making just two competitive appearances for the Gunners.
Extremely skillful and a threat in front of goal, losing Willock is a significant blow for Arsenal, with the youngster certainly one of the club’s best prospects.
Had he remained with the Gunners he may well have been sent out on loan next season but he can’t be begrudged for wanting to move to Benfica, where he will have a much clearer path into the first-team squad.
A product of Arsenal’s Hale End academy, Willock progressed through the ranks at the club and frequently played above his age group, an indication of his talent.
Now, though, he is an Arsenal player no longer and Willock will be aiming to prove that he deserved more first-team opportunities and that he was right to move to Benfica.