Newcastle United have been handed a key injury relief over central midfielder Joe Willock…
Magpies boss Eddie Howe has explained why the midfielder was not in the squad to face Wolves on Friday night in their 1-0 win over Bruno Lage’s men.
The ex-Arsenal man has been struggling with a knee injury and the head coach is now confident that he will not be out of action for an extended period of time.
Howe told The Chronicle: “Joe wasn’t going to make it, so we made a decision on him earlier in the week – I can’t remember the day, but he’s gone away, he’s had an injection in his knee. We hope that that will fix the problem for him.
“We don’t think he’ll be out long-term, we think it won’t be long before he’s back in contention to play, but until he’s back, you can never say never. But we hope that’s fixed the pain that he’s had.”
The Toon boss will surely be ecstatic with Willock’s recovery as his comments indicate that he is on the verge of overcoming the problem with his knee.
Having Willock back fit and available will be a big boost for Howe as he has the quality to be a match-winner for the team on his day.
He showcased his quality in the Premier League last season as he enjoyed a sensational loan spell with the club. The midfielder joined on loan from Arsenal in January and ended the campaign on a whopping eight top-flight goals, which shows that he has the ability to score goals at this level.
Although, he has found goals harder to come by since signing on a permanent basis. Willock has two goals in 25 matches this term, but his 22 starts in the division suggest that Howe still likes what he sees from the Englishman out on the pitch in spite of his lack of goals in comparison to 2020/21.
Whilst he has not been as prolific in the final third, he has added bite to his game in the middle of the park. The ex-Arsenal man has made an impressive 3.2 tackles and interceptions per game, which shows that he is getting stuck in and winning the ball back for his team.
Therefore, Howe will be ecstatic with his prospective return as he offers a defensive steeliness and has the potential to win a game if he can rediscover his goalscoring touch from midfield.