An update has emerged regarding Newcastle’s interest in Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley.
According to The Chronicle, Steve Bruce’s side are eyeing up a possible loan swoop for the 28-year-old this month.
It is time for Newcastle to forget about Willock. Speculation has been rife throughout the summer regarding the Gunners ace and a deal does not appear to have moved on significantly since the conclusion of his loan spell at the end of last season.
The Toon Army could now have a chance to land a proven, experienced operator at Premier League level in the form of Barkley. He has 226 Premier League appearances to his name and has played in both the Europa League and Champions League during his career, winning the former with Chelsea.
This shows that he knows how to perform in the top flight and has proven himself over a prolonged period of time, making him somewhat of a risk-free addition in the sense that Newcastle know what they are getting. On the other hand, Willock’s stint at St James’ Park was a flash in the pan.
The 21-year-old averaged a superb WhoScored rating of 7.13 as he scored eight goals in 11 starts on Tyneside. Prior to that, he scored seven goals in 61 appearances for Arsenal in the Premier League and Europa League, with a career average rating of 6.66.
Therefore, his sensational spurt of form for Newcastle could have been a one-off. There is no evidence to show that he will be capable of keeping it up over the course of a season, whereas Barkley has demonstrated his quality over the past decade in England for the likes of Everton, Chelsea and Aston Villa.
Former Everton midfielder Tim Cahill once labelled Barkley a “special talent” and said that he had never seen a player like him before.
He said: “Ross Barkley at Everton is a special talent. He has been unlucky this season with his injury but he is an immense player with a great attitude to football.
“He is so mature for his age and I think he is going to be a massive asset to Everton and [the city of] Liverpool in years to come.
“I have been lucky enough to have played with some great players in my career but I do not think I have ever seen a talent like Ross.”
Bruce should therefore seal a dream swoop for Barkley, as he would come with a near-guarantee of providing good performances in the Premier League, rather than continuing to pursue a move for Willock.