Kevin Nolan baffles fans by including Joe Willock in his Arsenal and Liverpool combined XI – The Sun
KEVIN NOLAN left fans baffled with the inclusion of midfielder Joe Willock in his Arsenal and Liverpool combined XI.
The Gunners travel to Anfield on Saturday to face the European Champions with both teams winning their opening two league games.
Former West Ham midfielder Nolan gave Sky Sports his combined starting 11 of the two teams – and surprisingly included 20-year-old Willock.
The Gunners academy product has been given two league starts by manager Unai Emery this term after impressing during pre-season.
However, having only made four senior appearances prior to this summer, even Arsenal fans on Reddit were taken back by Nolan’s surprise pick.
One said: “Willock is quite an odd inclusion tbh.”
Another said: “Willock really??”
One commented: “Willock. Sure, let's play along, lol.”
Willock was started in the No10 role in Arsenal’s opening day win at Newcastle and then pushed into a deeper position to accommodate Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos playing more advanced against Burnley.
The 20-year-old starlet received high praise for his performances and Nolan’s decision could be based on current form.
Experienced midfielders Jordan Henderson, Granit Xhaka, Fabinho, were all left out of the side by the former Hammers hero.
Nolan included three more of Emery’s men in his team, with Bernd Leno in goal, Ceballos partnering Willock and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leading the line.
Liverpool’s trusted back four of Andrew Robertson, Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold were unsurprisingly picked in defence.
And equally the strike trio of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Roberto Firmino were kept together.
However, Nolan selected forward Firmino to play in the No10 behind Aubameyang, despite the Brazilian often playing as a false No9 or occasional winger.Josh Kroenke had to rethink Arsenal's transfer strategy after Europa League final defeat
Source: Read Full Article