05/08/2021; 1:15 PM By : Steven D. Thompson
Joe Willock is on the cusp of getting the move he craved for all along. After a ding dong battle with Arsenal as he chases playing opportunities, the 21-year-old may finally be leaving his boyhood club. Following some time with the Gunners where he struggled for chances, he could be set for regular game time with the Magpies.
Willock has had limited opportunities at Arsenal and a chance for more playing time saw him loaned off to Newcastle United.
Willock made his Premier League debut, ironically against Newcastle, on 15 April 2018. At Arsenal, the battle for regular playing time saw him relegated to the bench on many occasions. This wasn’tal for the player who wants to rub shoulders with the big guns, which is why he desired a move away.
Willock managed just 40 caps under his belt for Arsenal in the two and half year span at the club (many of it as a sub), the young man desired a chance to prove his mettle.
Willock moved on to Newcastle on loan on 1 February 2021. At Newcastle, he has proved to be something of a dynamite. From limited opportunities at Arsenal, Willock grabbed the chances offered by Steve Bruce, leading to an offer for a permanent deal. He helped the Magpies survive the drop as he more than doubled his goal tally at Arsenal. Eight goals in 14 games is an incredible tally for a player of his status, and that was enough to convince Bruce to take the bait.
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With Arteta still trying to put his team in shape for the 2021/22 season, he was reluctant to let the young lad leave. Arsenal stalled the deal as they foraged the market to beef up their squad. Newcastle was subtle in their approach but relentless as they tried to get their man. To put things in clarity, Willock would not play a prominent role in Arsenal’s bid to break back into the ‘Top four’. That singular fact is the motivation for Willock to leave the club. Finally, it looks like Newcastle are getting their man.
Since the end of last season, Steve Bruce’s priority was to get Willock in permanently, and that seems to be panning out as Arteta seems to have given the go-ahead for the deal to be actualized.
Arteta initially preferred a loan to buy option, but Newcastle wanted to keep their loan options open to make more acquisitions. According to a report from 90min, Arsenal have agreed to the deal with Newcastle offering £25million with add-ons.
News has it that Newcastle set aside £20million for summer spending, and the Willock deal has already outstripped the mark. Willock has shown that he is a player for the future, and Newcastle understands this, which is why they have set out this outlay for him.
Once the deal finished, Newcastle would have a happy Willock and Steve Bruce, who added that Willock brings a different dimension to the Magpies midfield.