Joe Willock has declared that he’d “love” to continue playing for Newcastle and has spoken about how he has settled straight into life in the North East.
The midfielder made an immediate impact following his loan signing, bagging a debut goal in our 3-2 win against Southampton.
He has started every game since his arrival and put in some energetic displays in the middle of the park, giving us that box-to-box option we’d previously lacked.
Now, he’s dropped a hint via the club’s media channel that he’d be happy to extend his stay – although that would surely depend on us preserving our Premier League status.
Here is what he had to say on the Zoom call:
“I love playing for Newcastle.
“When I first came here, I was a bit apprehensive of how I would take to it because I’d never left Arsenal.
“I’d been at Arsenal since I was four and a half, so coming to a new club, coming up north to Newcastle was a bit scary.
“But as I came here and settled in and saw the love from the fans that I’m receiving, of course, I’d love to continue playing here.”
The elephant in the room is whether Willock could re-sign this summer – even in the event of relegation?
Luke Edwards reported back in January that ourselves and Arsenal were open to a loan deal across 2021/22 if he settled in on Tyneside and got regular game time – two things he appears to have nailed down already – however I’d be very surprised if he stayed to play second tier football.
After all, he’d have a host of Premier League clubs looking to sign him on loan should we go down.
That said, if Willock is playing week in, week out for the biggest club in the Championship, could that not do him more good than if he were playing for a club in the Premier League that is getting beat every week?
This is all hypothetical, but we have previously seen how the Championship has been the making of players such as Jonas Gutierrez and Jose Enrique and it could do exactly that for young Willock too.
His wages won’t be overwhelming either, so I wouldn’t 100% rule out his return if the worst happens, however it seems to me he will definitely be back should we stay up.
Let’s hope we avoid another Andros Townsend situation when it comes to Willock!