Newcastle must look to sign Joe Willock on a permanent basis after Steve Bruce’s update on his situation.
The Arsenal loanee has been a revelation since joining the Magpies on loan until the end of the season, popping up with some vital match-saving goals for the Tyneside club in recent weeks against the likes of Tottenham and Liverpool.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of the Premier League clash against the Gunners on Sunday, Bruce once again confirmed his intentions to sign the midfielder on a permanent basis.
He said: “He doesn’t like being called super sub by the way, and – if we can get him for next year, he won’t be a super sub, he’ll be playing. I’m pleased for Joe, he has the football world talking about him. We’d love to keep him if we can.”
After seeing him score on his Newcastle debut against Southampton earlier in the season, Bruce admitted that Willock has a the style of play from which the Magpies 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.”
When you look at the rest of the Magpies’ midfield, Willock really does solve a major Bruce nightmare. The 21-year-old’s four goals from midfield is already more than what the rest of Newcastle’s midfield options have scored this season, with Jeff Hendrick the next closest with two in the league.
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 this 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 £26m-rated Willock is the man Newcastle need to sign this summer.