Joe Willock has given his first interview as a Newcastle player to NUFC TV, speaking about how Steve Bruce persuaded him to make the move up North.
He reveals how the NUFC boss immediately explained his big ‘plan’ for the 21-year-old during a persuasive phone call last month – something that left the England international both ‘shocked’ and impressed ahead of his switch to St James’ Park.
The midfielder also told supporters what he can bring to the side for the remainder of the season, as he hopes to fill the box-to-box midfielder void and offer both energy and a goal threat following his deadline day arrival.
Here is what he said what made him choose to sign for Newcastle:
“For me, is when I first spoke to the manager, Steve Bruce. He spoke to me and gave me brilliant confidence, you know, to come and try to make a difference.
“So that was my first initial thought when I thought yeah, I think this is the club that I want to go to and learn.
“Yeah, it was (deal done quickly), we agreed to go as a family on the last day of the window. I went training, I came back and my father said we are getting it all done by tonight. It was, it was really smooth.
“This was the right place I was going to go to.”
“He (Bruce) approached it in such a nice way. He asked me how I was, how I was training and he was very, very humorous with me as well, we made a few jokes.
“I’m a funny guy who likes a lot of jokes so that’s how the conversation started. He talked about how he’s going to use me and where he sees me in the team.
“He had a whole plan for me already and I was really shocked. That is the first time I’ve ever spoken to a manager where he had a whole plan so I was really encouraged by that.
“And then, as things progressed, he called me again. He called me a few times, there were a lot of things that made me think: this is the right club for me.
Willock, who has been at Arsenal since he was four years old, was also asked if playing for a different club would be a challenge to him, especially being so far away from home:
“To be honest with you I’ve been at Arsenal since I was four and a half.
“It’s a long time so it’s a bit daunting to take that step away from your comfort zone but when Newcastle called, being such a massive club that it is, I didn’t really have too much (to consider).
“I love to pay for a big team. If I could come in and make a difference, that would be brilliant.”
Our new signing reiterated his praise for Bruce, hinting at a “plan” that the gaffer already had in mind for him when persuading the player to join the club.
There was also a mention for what he can bring to this Newcastle side, a one that has been bereft of a certain type of player for quite some time…
“I can’t tell you the plan (of Bruce’s) but I can tell you what I can do.
“I’m a box-to-box midfielder who can score goals.
“I’ll defend, work my socks off, and I’ll fight every moment on the pitch for the team.”