Against Tottenham on Sunday, Joe Willock was not in Steve Bruce’s starting eleven for the first time since joining on loan from Arsenal. The 21-year-old had started seven straight matches but was only handed a late cameo at St. James’ Park against Spurs.
However, Willock wasn’t phased by getting dropped and used it as determination to make an impact on the match. The box to box midfielder made one of his trademark late runs into the box and was in the right place at the right time to power in the equalizer.
After the match, Willock expressed his disappointment at not starting but was more than pleased to have gotten the goal that rescued a point for Newcastle. It’ll be interesting to see what Bruce decides to do with the midfield at Burnley on Sunday as Sean Longstaff’s performance certainly justified him getting a start.
Willock has been a very solid signing and adds something different to the Newcastle midfield. He’s become a fan favorite with his gushing praise of the city and it’s loyal fanbase.
Even in these tumultuous times, Willock recently opened the door to him staying at Newcastle beyond this season. This is what the midfielder said just a few weeks ago:
“I love playing for Newcastle.
“When I first came here, I was a bit apprehensive of how I would take to it because I’d never left Arsenal.
“I’d been at Arsenal since I was four and a half, so coming to a new club, coming up north to Newcastle was a bit scary.
“But as I came here and settled in and saw the love from the fans that I’m receiving, of course, I’d love to continue playing here.”
The Chronicle has a report out that says Newcastle hope to extend Willock’s loan move for an additional season if we stay up this season. But they also cite a report in the Sunday Mirror that Arsenal may look to offload him this summer. Here is what is written in the report:
It’s understood Newcastle are hopeful of lining up a season-long loan next term if they stay in the Premier League but the Sunday Mirror claims Willock could even be sold in the close season.
The fee mentioned is around £20m which is likely too much for Newcastle this summer. However, there may not be many takers at that price with most clubs expected to have limited transfer funds this summer.
Hopefully, we’ll get Willock back for another year in the Premier League next season. Then in 2022, who knows what may come. Maybe we’ll have new owners and a full season of full crowds. Then a permanent deal for Willock could be on the cards.