Joe Willock has left the door open for a possible return to St James’ Park next season – saying he hopes fans have been happy with his performances “so far”.
The Arsenal loanee bagged eight big goals in his short stint here to help drag us to safety in a time of desperate need on Tyneside.
Toon fans are desperate to see him stay beyond this season, with both a permanent and season-long loan options being mooted.
Willock said an emotional goodbye to fans on Instagram, thanking them for the support they have shown since his arrival in January, which led many to believe his days as a Newcastle player were up.
However, the midfielder has spoke to NUFC TV to discuss his future, admitting he has not yet made a decision:
“I’m going to sit down with my team and think about what’s best for me next season.
“I’m going to go on holiday now and hopefully we can come to the right decision.
“Newcastle will always have a special place in my heart.
“Wherever I go, this club will always have a special place in my heart so I just want to say thank you to all the fans who have helped me so much and made me feel so welcome and opened their arms for me.
“I wish I could give each of them a hug, but I can’t. Hopefully, you’re satisfied with what I’ve done for the club so far.”
Reports suggest the Willock saga may drag into the start of the new season, with Mikel Arteta wanting to have a first-hand look at the youngster over the summer.
That is hardly desirable but Newcastle chiefs must do whatever it takes to make sure he wears those black-and-white colours again.
My biggest fear comes down to him being a boyhood Arsenal fan. After all, if you were a Toon player who couldn’t get a game, went out to a club below us an impressed, would you want to break into your hometown club or stay at a lower level? I fear it’s a no-brainer – but only if he’s going to get game time with the Gunners!
I think another loan deal is more realistic and benefits all three parties – even if it would be bittersweet to have him back but not be able to call him our player!