Who is Chris Willock? The lowdown on QPR’s new signing

QPR have signed former Arsenal youngster Chris Willock from Benfica in a deal worth around £750,000.

Forward Willock, 22, is one of a number of attacking players Rangers have been considering signing ahead of the transfer deadline.

And they have decided they want to go ahead with a deal to bring him to west London.

Willock had two years remaining on his contract at Benfica, who signed him from Arsenal in 2017.

He joined West Brom on a season-long loan in 2019 but did not make an appearance for the West Midlands club and left to spend the second half of the campaign on loan at Huddersfield.

Here’s the lowdown on Rangers’ new signing…

Willock has two brothers: Matty, who plays for Gillingham, and Joe, who has played in Arsenal’s first team.

All three brothers shared a pitch when Matty, then at Manchester United, played a reserve game against his brothers who were playing for Arsenal in May 2017.

Who once called Willock an “interesting player”?

No less than Arsene Wenger.

Wenger felt Willock was a good prospect

Willock was a teenager in 2014 when he caught the Arsenal manager’s eye playing for the Gunners in a friendly against Boreham Wood.

“Technically and tactically he integrated very well,” said the Frenchman.

“Of course, it’s natural that he lacks a bit of power at that age, but when he gets that he will be a very interesting player.

“Chris is a very gifted player with natural strength and natural talent,” Wenger added.

“He has what you don’t find very easily. He can have a go at people, get past people in one on ones.

“We forget sometimes that the basis of team sport is to first be strong one against one – and Chris has that quality.”

It was a leap of faith to join Benfica in 2017.

He even learned a sentence or two of Portuguese when he said he was ‘estou muito entusiasmado” (I am very excited).

But the Stadium of Light cast the 22-year-old into the shade when he made 64 appearances for their B-team in Portugal’s second tier, scoring 14 and recording nine assists – but nothing for the first team.

When he ended up at Huddersfield, via West Brom last season, then Terriers boss Danny Cowley admitted Willock had yet to fulfil Wenger’s expectations.

“He has lost his way a little bit,” Cowley commented, “but he’s a super talent.”

His six months from January at Huddersfield saw him net 14 appearances and two goals – the second was against West Brom, who didn’t even give him a game.