Report: Leeds United chasing ex-Arsenal prodigy Chris Willock, face Premier League competition

Apoel FC head coach Thomas Christiansen adresses the media during a press conference in Telia Park, Copenhagen on August 15, 2016 on the eve of the Champions League play off football match...

Six months after leaving Premier League giants Arsenal, Chris Willock is reportedly a loan target for Leeds United, Newcastle, Bournemouth and Millwall.

Joe Willock of Arsenal in action during the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Arsenal and Doncaster Rovers at Emirates Stadium on September 20, 2017 in London, England.

Chris Willock only left Arsenal back in June but the England Under-20 international could already be heading back to England.

According to The Mirror (live transfer blog, 11.14am), a number of clubs in the first and second tiers are interested in signing Willock on loan from Portuguese champions Benfica, who he signed for on a free this summer in a shock move.

It is understood that Benfica will let the 19-year-old leave on a short-term basis in order to speed up his development, having failed to make a single appearance for The Eagles first-team after letting his contract at Arsenal run down.

Chris Willock of Arsenal is challenged by Joe Muscatt of Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League 2 match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on...

Leeds United are keen to bring Willock to Elland Road but face competition from a number of Championship rivals, including Millwall. From the Premier League, both Newcastle United and Bournemouth are understood to be interested.

Willock is an exciting and skilful forward who was very highly-rated at Arsenal, who were understandably very disappointed to lose him on a free in the summer after he spent 12 years in The Gunners’ famed academy system.

According to The Sun, Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund and Everton were among the teams keen to sign Willock in the summer, only for the teenager to sign a five-year contract with Benfica instead.

Chris Willock of SL Benfica in action during the Emirates Cup match between RB Leipzig and SL Benfica at Emirates Stadium on July 30, 2017 in London, England.

And while he remains unproven at senior level, the Waltham Forest-born prodigy could be a fine addition at a Leeds side already boasting the exciting technical skills of Samu Saiz, Ezgjan Alioski and co.

Nonetheless, Leeds fans might have hoped for a proven Championship goalscorer in January rather than a player like Willock who, while undoubtedly talented, has not made a first-team league appearance in his career.

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