Why Huddersfield Town should secure a loan deal for Chris Willock
The 21-year-old attacker joined West Brom on a season-long loan deal from Benfica this past summer but he has largely spent time with the U23 side in the Premier League 2 Division 2, with his only senior appearance for the Baggies coming in an EFL Cup tie way back in August.
Willock has impressed with 4 goals and 3 assists in 10 appearances for Dean Burton’s reserve side but that hasn’t been enough to convince the first-team boss Slaven Bilic to give the highly-rated starlet a crack of the whip to prove his mettle in the Championship.
Now, as per the report, the youngster’s loan deal has a review option in January and Benfica could look to find him a new club, preferably in the Championship, with his situation at West Brom unlikely to change in the second half of the campaign.
Huddersfield, though, are expected to face stiff competition in their pursuit of Chris Willock from fellow Championship strugglers Stoke City, who have also set their sights on the youngster as a potential option to beef up their attacking ranks during the mid-season trading period. (Mail Online h/t Stoke Sentinel)
Meanwhile, Huddersfield Town returned to winning ways with a 2-1 comeback victory over Blackburn Rovers in the Championship on Sunday, thanks to goals from Jan-Gorench Stankovic and Steve Mounie.
Danny Cowley’s side stayed 19th in the standings, seven points clear of the relegation zone with that victory, however, one does get the feeling that significant changes to the squad during the January window could hold the key if the Terriers are to push on for a respectable mid-table finish in the second half of the season.
Huddersfield have improved considerably at both ends of the pitch since Cowley took over the reins back in September but a tally of just 28 goals scored in 25 games so far is something that the Terriers will definitely need to improve on in the coming months.
According to a report from the Examiner Live, Cowley is planning to reshape the squad to his liking during the mid-season trading period and the likes of Herbert Bockhorn, Terence Kongolo, Isaac Mbenza, Adama Diakhaby and Reece Brown could be sacrificed in order to raise funds and free up some space for new arrivals.
That makes perfect sense, given that the likes of Diakhaby and Mbenza have failed to make a positive impact further up the pitch while Brown, who joined the Terriers from Forest Green Rovers, has yet to make his Championship bow.
Steve Mounie has come back into reckoning from a long spell in the shadows with a couple of man-of-the-match performances in recent weeks, thus taking the pressure off the shoulders of top-scorer Karlan Grant, who has spearheaded Huddersfield’s bid for survival in the Championship with 12 goals so far.
It is a no-brainer that Huddersfield need a reshuffling of options in the final third and they would need to bring in a few replacements if the likes of Mbenza, Diakhaby and Brown head for the exit door in January.
To put things into perspective, Chris Willock is still quite inexperienced at the highest level but he continues to be a bright young prospect with plenty of potential and Huddersfield shouldn’t hesitate to take a punt on him during the mid-season window.
Things haven’t really worked out for him since he switched Arsenal for Benfica back in the summer of 2017, with the 21-year-old only featuring for the club’s reserve side in the Portuguese second-tier and failing to make a first-team breakthrough.
However, Willock has proven his worth across various age-group levels and his versatility to play out wide on either side of the pitch, as well as in a No.10 role behind the striker, means that the former England U-20 international could be a useful addition to the Terriers’ attack.
Elias Kachunga and Josh Koroma haven’t really done an awful lot this season and Willock’s arrival would definitely increase competition for places at the John Smith’s Stadium while also adding some valuable depth to the squad.
Cowley, who illustrated a great deal of proficiency in nurturing up and coming prospects during his managerial stint at Lincoln City, has continued to do the same since taking over at Huddersfield.
The Terriers boss has handed opportunities to youngsters like Rarmani Edmonds-Green, Demeaco Duhaney, Maty Daly, Jaden Brown, Lewis O’Brien and Kian Harratt and Chris Willock could also get his chance to impress.
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Having said that, Huddersfield Town should go all out in their pursuit of the former Arsenal academy graduate in January as he looks more than capable of doing a job for them in the Championship.