Official: Newcastle sign Joe Willock on loan from Arsenal

Martin Macdonald
Martin Macdonald Updated: 23 May 2021 18:39 BST 2 min read
Official: Newcastle sign Joe Willock on loan from Arsenal

Newcastle have secured deadline day signing of midfielder Joe Willock on loan from Arsenal until the end of the 2020/21 campaign.

Despite a long association with Arsenal, Willock has struggled to earn regular football.

In Newcastle boss Steve Bruce, however, he appears to have a fan.

“I’m delighted to bring Joe to Newcastle until the end of the season. He is a very exciting and talented young player who can get up and down the pitch and can score a goal from midfield,” Bruce told Newcastle’s official website.

“He has made a very decent impact at Arsenal after coming through the ranks and to make nearly 80 appearances for the club by the age of 21 says much about his development, ability and character.

“He is very keen to come here and test himself and he’ll be a great addition to the squad.”

Willock is a youth product at the Emirates, having played for the club since the age of four.

He made his debut for Arsenal in April of 2018 in a Premier League fixture which was actually against his new club, Newcastle.

In the 2019/20 season he made 44 appearances for the club, but 24 of them were from the bench as he was steadily given more first team action.

However, in the current campaign he has struggled for minutes, particularly in the Premier League, as he has started just two games so far in 2020/21.

The majority of his appearances have came in the Europa League where he has flourished, scoring three goals and assisting a further three in the group stage.

With Thomas Partey being signed in the summer, Emile Smith Rowe emerging, and now Martin Odegaard providing competition for a central midfield role, he will find his opportunities lessened further within the Gunners squad.

He has a long-term contract with Arsenal, though, so any move away from the club was always expected to be a temporary loan, with the feeling being that Willock could develop at another Premier League side before returning to the Emirates having improved.

Willock joins a Newcastle side who are struggling down in 15th in the league this season, though they are currently eight points clear of the relegation zone.