Newcastle to sign Joe Willock on six-year deal, Bruce confirms

Nicholas Hughes
Mikel Arteta rules out Arsenal selling Joe Willock to Newcastle

Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce has confirmed that his side have secured the signature of Joe Willock from Arsenal in a £25 million move ahead of the Premier League opener.

The 21-year-old joined the Magpies on loan halfway through last season and was a revelation on Tyneside, scoring eight goals including one in each of the last seven games of the season, and will sign a six-year contract at St. James' Park.

Speaking ahead of Newcastle’s season opener against West Ham, Bruce said the club had to wait for the opportunity to sign him, but he is ultimately delighted to get the deal done.

“I knew Mikel Arteta would want to look at him in pre-season so we knew we’d have to be patient,” he said.

“We explored the loan option, but when that couldn’t happen, we knew we had to buy him which is fantastic, so fair play. To be fair to my bosses, they always said if Joe became available, we’d try to buy him.”

Willock could be immediately thrust into the Newcastle side

Bruce even hinted at putting Willock straight to the test at St. James’ Park, with a 2pm kick-off on Sunday hopefully not coming too early for the Magpies.

“We want to see where he is and where he’s up to. It’s been a hectic few days,” Bruce said.

“We have to get him registered by 12pm and we hope we can play him against West Ham.”

Willock broke through at Arsenal in the 2019/20 season playing 29 times in the Premier League, but only eight of those were from the start.

The young midfielder made only seven appearances for the Gunners last season before his loan switch to Newcastle, and he will be eager to impress in black and white again with the Toon Army returning to the stands for the upcoming campaign.