The left-wing back was a second-half substitute against Arsenal on the opening day of the Premier League and made a mistake which ultimately led to the Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang goal which condemned them to defeat.
Willems had to wait until the Carabao Cup second-round clash with Leicester City at St James’ Park to earn his full debut, in a game that would see him cement his spot in the starting 11.
Ritchie also played in the defeat against the Foxes in a more advanced role, and suffered an ankle injury which forced him off the field, given Willems the perfect opportunity to stake his claim.
That has given the Dutch international Willems the perfect opportunity to cement his place in Bruce’s plans, and so far he has done just that.
The 25-year-old scored the opener against Liverpool on Saturday, which was a fantastic strike from the edge of the box with his weaker right foot, and also made one tackle and two clearances as his side fell to a respectable 3-1 defeat at Anfield [Source: WhoScored].
Bruce recently confirmed to the Chronicle that Ritchie has stunned Newcastle officials with his recovery, and is closing in on a return to action earlier than the predicted two months.
With Willems really starting to excel and make the left-wing back spot his own for Newcastle, Bruce is surely set for a selection headache when the Scotsman returns from injury.