Willock leaves Arsenal in £25m Newcastle deal

Robin Bairner
Joe Willock can add impetus to floundering Newcastle’s midfield but problems run much deeper

Arsenal have sold midfielder Joe Willock to Newcastle for a fee believed to be £25 million.

Both clubs have confirmed the deal, which sees Willock move back to St James' Park after a successful loan stint in the second half of the 2020/21 season.

He has signed a six-year deal with the Magpies.

During his time on Tyneside, the 21-year-old Willock scored eight goals in just 14 appearances - including in seven successive outings towards the end of the season.

"I'm buzzing to be here," Willock told Newcastle's official website. "I loved my time here last season and I'm really happy to be back and to be a Newcastle United player.

"Leaving Arsenal is obviously a big step, and I'd like to thank everyone involved with the club for all their support over the years, but this is the right move to the right club at the right time for me."

'We're proud of Willock' - Arsenal

Official: Newcastle sign Joe Willock on loan from Arsenal

Arsenal, meanwhile, paid tribute to a player who came through their academy but was unable to break into their first-team thoughts, despite scoring three times and gaining three assists in just five Europa League outings last season.

In a statement, the Gunners said of Willock: "Everyone at Arsenal is extremely proud of Joe’s progress from our academy through to the first team.

"We wish you all the best in the next chapter of your career with Newcastle United.

"Joe, you will always be part of the Arsenal family."

Willock has been allowed to leave Arsenal, despite the club seeking the sort of offensive production from midfield that he provided last season.

Real Madrid's Martin Odegaard continues to be linked with a possible move back to the Emirates Stadium, with the Norwegian's prospects of featuring at the Bernabeu limited.

Meanwhile, Willock is Newcastle's first major signing of the summer transfer window.