The Telegraph’s Luke Edwards has revealed that Newcastle United are willing to stump up the £22million Arsenal are demanding for Joe Willock – however the player himself is having ‘second thoughts.’
The report states that the 21-year-old Willock is undecided about the possibility of leaving his boyhood club – despite having a highly successful loan spell on Tyneside last season and essentially being up for sale at The Emirates.
Edwards claims that The Gunners would be prepared to sell their asset for £22million and, most importantly, Mike Ashley would be happy to pay the fee.
However, the stumbling block is persuading the player to leave the club – and London – on a permanent basis, as he has long-term ambitions to become a first-team regular at Arsenal.
This echoes previous suspicions that I had at the back end of the campaign as to whether Willock would really want to seek pastures new in the North East.
Another loan could suit all three parties, but a permanent move strips Willock of the chance to play regularly for his hometown team – a hope he’s clearly holding onto as an Arsenal fan born and raised in London.
Imagine you are a Newcastle prospect who went out on loan to a Championship side. You succeed there during a short stint, making their fans clamour like crazy to have you back at the club.
Your ambitions are to play for the Toon and wear black-and-white, but you are torn. Attempting to play for us could have a negative impact on your career when you would be guaranteed minutes at the Championship side.
Our fanbase needs to put themselves in Willock’s shoes to understand why he may be hesitant to join; it isn’t a knock on us, more of a love for Arsenal.
Let’s hope he makes the decision we are all hoping for and he is lining up at St James’ Park this season.