Joe Willock praised for leaving ‘comfort zone’ at Arsenal

Nicholas Hughes
Nicholas Hughes Updated: 19 May 2021 15:43 BST 2 min read
Joe Willock praised for leaving ‘comfort zone’ at Arsenal

After a goalscoring debut at St. James’ Park, Joe Willock has been praised for leaving his “comfort zone” at Arsenal and joining Newcastle.

The 21-year-old took just 16 minutes to score his goal and linked up brilliantly with Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin, forming a frightening attacking midfield trident behind Callum Wilson.

And former England international and Manchester City winger Trevor Sinclair lauded the youngster for his desire to play more first-team football with the Magpies.

“He could have stayed at Arsenal, got a couple of games between now and the end of the season and been very comfortable,” he said.

“You have to give him respect because he wants to play football and is prepared to put himself out of his comfort zone.”

“That is reward for him doing that with the opening goal and I am really pleased for him.”

Willock’s opener set Newcastle on their way to a thrilling 3-2 win over Southampton, with the youngster playing the full 90 minutes in midfield.

Joe Willock’s Newcastle debut

StatisticWillock
Completed dribbles2
Touches in opposition box4
Recoveries6
Tackles won4
Duels won7
via FootballCritic

Willock broke into the Arsenal first-team last season, but despite making 29 Premier League appearances he only started eight times in total, recording a goal and an assist.

And again this season he was finding regular football hard to come by with two starts and five appearances from the substitute’s bench, prompting him to look for more minutes at St. James’ Park.

Newcastle are now only six points away from Arsenal in 10th place and have well and truly distanced themselves from the bottom three with 10 points between themselves and Fulham.

Two wins in their last three have ended a run of nine games without victory in the league through December and January, with Bruce seemingly buying himself some more time after his job was beginning to come under scrutiny.

The Toon army face a tricky period coming up with Chelsea and Manchester United away from home in their next two fixtures before they host Wolves to round out the month of February.

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