Willems, a left-back by trade is looking forward to making his debut and admitted walking out at St James’ Park against Arsenal would be a fantastic experience for him.
Speaking to the Chronicle, the 25-year-old said: “His philosophy attracted me here. That’s what I liked. The player always has to believe in the head coach. And for me, I liked what he was able to offer me from a football point of view.
“Arsenal is a massive game for me to start. It will be my first taste of the Premier League. To be in the squad would be fantastic.”
The Dutch international was plagued by injuries in the Bundesliga last season, and 16 of his 23 total appearances came off the bench.
Bruce is surely set to have a headache regarding his selection for Sunday’s opening clash with Arsenal, especially at left wing-back – with Matt Ritchie looking set to be fit after a hamstring injury scare and Willems looking to force his way into the Magpies’ set-up. The Dutchman is more of an out-and-out full-back whereas Ritchie is a winger who was moulded into the deeper role by Rafael Benitez last season. If Willems is fully fit, he will surely get the nod against an Arsenal side who have one of the Premier League’s most fearsome attacks ready to be unleashed. The 25-year-old would need to get used to English football though, and a game against Unai Emery’s side could be the wrong game to choose. Willems only averaged 0.9 tackles on top of 0.4 interceptions last season according to WhoScored, with Ritchie having more impressive stats having averaged 1.9 tackles as well as 1.4 interceptions – stats which could prove that the Scottish international is more equipped for a game of this magnitude.