‘I told the manager to start me!’ – Arsenal loanee Willock continues brilliant Newcastle form

Robin Bairner
‘I told the manager to start me!’ – Arsenal loanee Willock continues brilliant Newcastle form

Arsenal striker Joe Willock turned in a strong display for Newcastle as they secured their Premier League status next season with a 4-2 win away to Leicester.

Willock got the ball rolling for Steve Bruce’s side as he robbed Cayar Soyuncu before running through to slot a composed finish past Kasper Schmeichel.

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Paul Dummett added a second for Newcastle before a double from Callum Wilson pushed them four goals clear – more than enough to withstand a late fightback from Leicester.

Willock had previously said that he was unhappy with his ‘super-sub’ tag at Newcastle, and he was pleased that he could justify Bruce’s decision to deploy him from the beginning on Friday.

“I’ve come off the bench a few times and I scored. I was knocking on the door. I told the manager I needed to start, and he believed in me to put me in, and hopefully I repaid him,” he told Sky Sports.

Willock’s outstanding Newcastle form

Indeed, Willock has been on fire lately for the St James’ Park side, netting in four successive Premier League matches as they have found some good form towards the end of the season.

He played a total of just 46 minutes in fixtures against Tottenham, West Ham and Liverpool – all clubs vying for European football next season – and found the target in each of those games as Newcastle strung together an unlikely undefeated run.

Willock continued that form at the King Power Stadium, where he featured as the foremost of a three-man central midfield unit.

Such a run will have caught the eye on Arsenal, who will be building towards next season after their Europa League exit in midweek. A goal scorer from midfield like Willock would be a useful addition to their ranks, but without guaranteed first-team football, his future is unclear.