Part of discovering a bright, shiny new talent is comparison.
For example, how many “New Maradona’s” have Argentina supposedly produced? From Javier Saviola all the way through to today, there have been plenty given that huge weight of expectation from their respective nations.
In England, it’s no different.
When the likes of Theo Walcott, Aaron Lennon and Andros Townsend burst upon the scene, the media frothed with delight at this new prodigy tasked with saving the empire from ruination at the next big tournament.
Inevitably, comparison is good for nothing short of conversation starters amongst fans.
However, when a youth product shows up and they look more than capable of filling in a slot that a recently departed player has left?
Step forward Jo Willock.
The youngster has been the posterchild for determination ever since last season that saw him take every scant chance he had, forcing his way into Unai Emery’s plans with his mature displays.
Then, Aaron Ramsey left, and instead of us slumping in our own misery at one of our better players departing?
We can look upon Willock’s development with real optimism.
The real reason why Willock is ready made for the Ramsey role – perhaps even of exceeding those levels is down to his adaptability.
Willock has already scored three goals this season in an impressive amount of matches. His goal threat is tangible, his runs into the box to aid our attacks are eerily similar to the Welshman when he burrowed past defenders and finished with aplomb.
Where Ramsey had a weak spot was his defensive side. He was far more effective in creating and scoring than he was in closing down and making things difficult.
Willock though, has been deployed at the heart of midfield, in our attacking trio just behind Aubameyang – and also as a pivot in the centre, to cover when necessary. We have all seen the tackle from Willock when he won back possession – this is something he has been showing all season.
He is more than adept at breaking up play, and his concentration levels far succeed those of a similar age.
He will make mistakes, but the building blocks to be a wonderful box to box man are there for all to see.
Willock is coming on leaps and bounds – and his progression is easing the loss of one of our better players.
How exciting it is to see this talent flourish in our shirt.
The sky is the limit – Willock can surpass Ramsey and if he stays loyal – he could be on the road to a far higher status.