An update has emerged on Joe Willock, regarding Newcastle’s attempts to sign him.
According to The Times, Newcastle are in talks with Arsenal over a season-long loan deal for central midfielder Joe Willock.
The report claims Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is yet to decide on Willock’s future, with the Toon Army hoping that the Spaniard will allow him to return to Tyneside for a second spell. Conversations are ongoing between the two parties and a conclusion could be reached in the coming weeks.
Steve Bruce will be buzzing with this news as it shows a sign of intent from Mike Ashley to seriously pursue another deal for Willock. The midfielder flourished at St. James’ Park last season following his move to the club on loan in the January window and Bruce would love to have him in his squad again due to the impact he had on the side.
Willock broke a Premier League record whilst at the club, becoming the youngest player to score in seven successive matches in the competition at the age of 21. He ended the campaign on eight goals in 14 appearances for Newcastle, 11 starts, and averaged a sublime WhoScored rating of 7.13. None of his teammates managed a higher rating, with Allan Saint-Maximin’s 7.12 the only other score of 7.00 or above within Bruce’s squad.
After a debut goal against Southampton, Bruce hailed the youngster as a “terrific” athlete and said that he is the modern-day midfield player.
“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.”
This shows how highly the £20k-per-week gem is rated by Bruce and why the ex-Villa boss would be delighted to see him walk through the door this summer.
Willock’s goals from midfield could provide a key boost to Newcastle’s chances success next season, as he has the ability to win games with his late runs into the box to finish off moves. Seven of his eight goals for the club resulted in a positive result for Newcastle, showing that his strikes made a significant impact.
Ashley must ensure that these talks with Arsenal result in Willock returning to the club. Another season on loan at St. James’ could allow him to further develop his game and show that he can be consistent over the course of an entire campaign, which could be the selling point to Arsenal in terms of negotiations.