Leeds United could sign a dream Rodrigo de Paul alternative in Arsenal star Joe Willock amid David Norris’ transfer claim.
The England U21 international spent the last Premier League season on loan at Newcastle, starring for the Magpies as they staved off relegation with some impressive form towards the end of the campaign – they won five out of their last eight games.
And now, Norris has claimed that with the Gunners potentially being open to letting Willock go this summer, he has the potential to turn into a “decent signing” for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Speaking exclusively to This is Futbol, Norris said: “I think initially like it was at Newcastle, he would be a slightly underwhelming signing but would come with the potential to turn into a decent signing.”
Reports in recent weeks and months had claimed that De Paul was a key target for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, but Fabrizio Romano recently delivered a crushing blow to their hopes, claiming that Spanish giants Atletico Madrid were now close to clinching his signing.
While Bielsa may be gutted at having missed out on the Argentine’s signing, he could get a similarly dynamic midfielder in the much-younger Willock.
After seeing him score on his Newcastle debut against Southampton last season, Newcastle boss Steve Bruce claimed that Willock has the style of play from which his side could really benefit.
He said: “It was a classic midfield player’s goal from the ability to arrive in the box, and that’s what he’s brought us. He can go box-to-box, he’s a terrific athlete, the kid, a typical modern-day midfield player who has the ability to get up and down the pitch quickly and has that added ability to score a goal.”
That ability to get into the box at the right time to finish things off is something about which Arsenal legend Martin Keown has waxed lyrical, too, hailing him after his goal-scoring display against Dundalk in the Europa League earlier last season.
The ex-Gunners defender said: “The point is, he can do so much, he gets in the box in the right place at the right time. He wants it to feet, he’s always on the half-turn, which is nice to see. Today I saw a bit more athleticism rather than just coasting in there. His overall game is really good.”
The £34m-rated midfielder haul off 11 goals in all competitions last season was actually better than what De Paul managed (nine), and went on a real hot streak to end the campaign – he bagged seven in seven in the Premier League, becoming the youngest player ever to achieve that feat, making him a top-flight record breaker.
With his ability to score goals from midfield, Willock has everything in his locker to be a real dream alternative to De Paul, and offer the same kind of attacking dynamism that the Argentine would have brought.