Joe Willock ended his short but yet spectacular half-season on Tyneside with his seventh goal in seven games when he netted the opening goal against Fulham, but former Newcastle United defender Steve Howey still thinks £20 million would be a lot of money for the 21-year old.
Since the Arsenal midfielder made his debut in the 3-2 win against Southampton, in which Newcastle finished the game with nine men, the Magpies have only lost four games in the Premier League – against Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Brighton.
Several reports have suggested that the Magpies still intend to test the Gunners’ resolve on Willock and bid £20 million for him, however Mikel Arteta confirmed that the club would be planning his future for the coming years, a huge blow for Steve Bruce and the fans.
Willock was serenaded when he limped off during the 1-0 victory against Sheffield United in front of 10,000 fans as the Geordies told him ‘we want you to stay’, but Howey exclusively told Football FanCast that £20 million is still a lot of money:
“For a young lad, who I think has got a very good future, you’ll be looking at £20 million which I still think is a lot of money and I know in today’s market that bang average players get bought for that amount of money.
“I just think that he’s enjoyed a purple patch and we’ve seen before that players have gone to clubs done really well on loan, signed permanently and then not done great. I’m not saying that would happen with him but in all fairness, from the noises coming out of the Arsenal camp, I don’t think Newcastle are getting him anyway.”
One loan player who did well and then returned to Newcastle, that Howey may have been eluding to is Kenedy. He did not sign permanently but did arrive for a season-long loan after impressing during the second half of the 2017/18 season, however, the following season saw just one goal in 25 appearances.
After he found the back of the net against already relegated Fulham, Willock became the youngest player in Premier League history to net seven goals in seven consecutive league games.