09/08/2021; 11:49 AM By : Steven D. Thompson
Arsenal have held out for as much as they can with the hope of keeping Joe Willock at the club, but it seems the player’s will and the persistent badgering by Newcastle has forced the Gunners into a deal. Personal terms are yet to be agreed, but Newcastle are set to finalize the deal before the start of the season.
Steve Bruce was clear from the onset about what he wanted, and that was to get Willock at Tyneside permanently. Joe Willock had arrived at Newcastle in the second half of last season after finding opportunities hard to come by at Arsenal. The 21-year-old grabbed the chance given at Newcastle by putting up top-class performances. He scored eight goals in 14 matches to help the Toons avoid the drop.
Newcastle made several efforts to get him to play at the club, but Arsenal played hardball. The Gunners had to cave in after the player made it clear he wanted to leave for Newcastle. We already reported days ago about the North London side deciding to sell their academy graduate.
With an initial difference in the evaluation of the player, the two sides have eventually agreed on a £25m deal for Willock as per Sky Sports. The deal will also include some add-ons and a sell-on clause in favour of Arsenal.
With every game that Willock turned up with an important goal, it was clear to all that the self-awareness of the young man was going to make him demand to leave.
That was what happened with Mikel Arteta’s inability to guarantee him regular playing time. Steve Bruce made no secret about his desires and kept knocking on the Arsenal door with the hope that they’d cave in.
Arsenal initially wanted a loan move for Willock with an option to buy, but the young man and Steve Bruce would hear nothing of it.
Willock is yet to agree on personal terms with Newcastle, but that shouldn’t be a problem with the desire from both parties to make it work.
Arteta is on the hunt for a midfielder, but the shortage of funds has him hamstrung. With his sight on James Maddison, the sale of Willock is a boost in his quest to land the Leicester player.
Reports have it that the 24-year-old is open to thea of joining the Gunners, but Arsenal is a few fair millions short of Leicester’s evaluation of the midfielder.
Should the fee for Maddison prove too steep for Arsenal, then they could structure a deal that might be favourable to the Foxes. Cash-plus players might interest Leicester.
Meanwhile, Newcastle’s opening game of the season is against West Ham. Steve Bruce hopes that Willock will be available for the tie.