The Shields Gazette are reporting that Joe Willock could be on his way back up North in the coming days to finalise a move back to Tyneside.
The report even claims that flights have been provisionally booked to allow him and his representatives to tie up a deal before the weekend – suggesting we are eager to get this one done ASAP and very close to a breakthrough.
Willock bagged an impressive eight goals in his short loan stint here and fans have been clamouring for him to return since the moment the season ended back in May.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta spoke about the 21-year-old after Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat to Hibernian on Tuesday, saying he was ruled out due to injury but remained part of his future plans.
Now, the Gazette claims another loan deal could be sewn up as early as this weekend, with ‘all parties’ now keen to do a deal and avoid travel complications – as Arsenal fly to the US for a preseason tour on Sunday.
Another loan deal would be a shrewd move from our point of view as it allows us to properly scrutinize a player rather than jump in the deep end after a blossoming honeymoon period.
We have had the likes of Kenedy and Papiss Cisse in previous years who, although they lit up St James’ Park in their first six months, failed to replicate that form over a prolonged period of time.
If NUFC have any sense, they will fiercely negotiate an “option-to-buy” clause in any loan deal, to avoid us simply nurturing another club’s unwanted player and inflating his value further.