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A fresh insight into Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock’s plans beyond the summer has been forthcoming on Thursday afternoon.

Newcastle switch

21-year-old Willock was of course one of a host of Gunners stars to depart the Emirates during the January window.

After the likes of Mesut Ozil, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Sead Kolasinac and William Saliba (the latter two on loan) moved on, Willock followed both Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Shkodran Mustafi out the exit door during a hectic deadline day in north London.

This came with Mikel Arteta continuing his ongoing efforts to trim Arsenal’s bloated squad back to a reasonable size.

Willock majorly struggled for consistent game-time over the opening half of the campaign, en route to just a pair of Premier League starts.

Arsenal’s Joe Willock celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game during the UEFA Europa League Group B match at the Emirates Stadium, London. (Photo by Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty Images)

To say that the English youth international has since enjoyed an upturn in fortunes at St. James’ Park, though, would be putting it lightly.

All told, to this point, Willock has featured on nine occasions for Newcastle, including seven starts.

And, across these outings, the Arsenal loanee has added a much-needed element of forward-thinking and drive to the Magpies’ ranks in the middle of the park.

Willock has even managed to chip in with three crucial goals, first on his debut versus Southampton, and, most recently, in substitute appearances in both of Newcastle’s last two outings:

Willock’s winner! 🙌

⚫️⚪️ pic.twitter.com/4hFnXl0ZVl

— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) April 17, 2021

St. James’ stay?

In turn, it came as little surprise when Steve Bruce recently admitted that, given the opportunity, he would ‘love’ to keep hold of Willock beyond the summer.

And, if the latest word stemming from the English media on Thursday is to be believed, then the Magpies boss could yet see his wish granted.

As per a report from Football Insider, Willock has informed his teammates on Tyneside that he is keen to see his move to the club made permanent ahead of next season.

The 21-year-old is said to have come to the conclusion that regular first-team football with parent club Arsenal will be all but impossible to come by over the years ahead, particularly if Martin Odegaard is signed outright.

In turn, ‘a Newcastle source has told Football Insider that Willock has expressed an interest in moving back to St James Park next season on a permanent basis. ‘

One potential stumbling block for the Magpies, however, could come in the form of the likely considerable fee set to be demanded by those in a position of power at the Emirates.

 

 

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