Matty Willock did not take long to find a new club after his release from Manchester United last week.

Willock has penned a two-year deal with League One club Gillingham.

United signed Willock from Arsenal in 2012 and he was a regular for the under-18s and under-23s.

The closest he came to the first team was when he was named on the bench by Jose Mourinho against Crystal Palace on the final day of the season in 2017.

He has had five loan spells, including at Holland with Utrecht, St Mirren in Scotland and most recently with Crawley Town.

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Big praise

Gillingham boss Steve Evans was delighted to win the race to sign Willock.

 

He spoke gushingly to Kent Online about the acquisition: “This is the signing that excites me the most given his ability, stature, strength and unbelievable reference from United legend Nicky Butt.

“Gills fans should remember his name. They will love this signing. He is destined for greater things and we’ve beaten off some very significant interest from Championship clubs. He is nothing short of an outstanding talent.”

That’s high praise, and Willock needs to start justifying it.

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He is 22-years-old now and was never really close to pushing to become a United regular. His loan spells also did not really show enough to mark him out.

He now has a manager who clearly believes in him, and a two-year deal rather than the pressure of being on a short term loan. Willock must seize this chance and put his experience at United to good use.

Read more: Two ways United’s path to signing winger has become easier

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