Date: 2nd August 2019 at 9:30pm
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OPINION

Newcastle United could have played a blinder by signing left-back Jetro Willems on loan from Frankfurt after it was confirmed on Friday that the deal has been completed.

The Tyneside club has announced via their official website that they hold the option to sign Willems, 25, permanently once his loan deal expires – and that would be a great piece of business by the Premier League side.

Willems was an extremely highly-rated youngster when he first broke onto the scene at PSV Eindhoven.

In 2012, he was the youngest player involved at the European Championships when he was called upon to play for the Netherlands.

Willems started all three of what turned out to be a disastrous Euro 2012 campaign for the Dutch, but still the left-back had laid down the foundations of what was meant to be a big career.

Unfortunately for the Rotterdam-born left-back, he was hit with a lot of injuries in his time at PSV.

According to transfermarkt, he missed 44 club matches across all competitions between 2013 and 2016 due to different knee injuries.

After six years at PSV, the former Sparta Rotterdam left-back eventually joined Frankfurt, but last season he only made seven starts in the Bundesliga as he was used more as a utility player by the Europa League semi-finalists.

Still, the 22-times Dutch international did impress when he did get the chance to shine in the Bundesliga.

WhoScored reports that Willems averaged 2.5 tackles, 1.3 interceptions and 2.5 key passes per 90 minutes of league action last season, which is decent considering a lot of his game-time was spread out between playing in different positions.

Willems could still be the player that he was once dubbed to be and his injury problems do seem to be a thing of the past as his two years at Frankfurt has been relatively injury-free.

It is still the right move for Newcastle to go down this loan-to-buy route though because Willems has the potential to be a top-class left-back but just hasn’t had the best opportunities to be that in recent years.

Maybe a move to join a club that has had a long-term interest in him could unlock that potential.

Or if not, the Magpies don’t have to sign him next summer and can send him back to Frankfurt.

Either way, it’s a good deal for Newcastle and one than fans should be very happy about.