Newcastle United are keen on signing Joe Willock, currently on loan at St. James’ Park, permanently this summer, according to a report jointly done by The Athletic.for
The 21-year-old joined the Magpies for the second half of the season with the obvious aim of securing more game-time, a crucial aspect for the development of any young player. So far, he’s made 10 appearances in a black-and-white shirt, all in the Premier League, scoring four vital goals for Steve Bruce’s team.
Bruce recently spoke very highly about Willock’s talents, describing him as a player ‘you’d love to build a team around’, even though he named him on the bench for each of the last four games.
The thing is, even Arsenal don’t know what will happen when Willock is concerned. The young forward could, of course, remain at the Emirates, but the club still haven’t decided if he is perhaps more valuable to them as a sellable asset than a part for the squad under Mikel Arteta. His contract has two years left to run and he is valued by Transfermarkt at €16 million (just over £14m).
Newcastle are monitoring the situation closely, hoping that, if he is allowed to leave Arsenal, they would be able to reach an agreement with the Gunners and that his road would lead to the north east again. There is no option to buy included in the original loan deal for them to trigger.
But Bruce has apparently mentioned a season-long loan for 2021-22 to Arteta already, and has encouraged Lee Charnley, Newcastle’s managing director, to look into the situation and see what can be done.
Having passed through the ranks at the Arsenal Academy, Willock made 78 senior appearances for the club before his switch to Newcastle, scoring 11 goals and producing four assists.