“Personally, it has been a great time to get some rest,” Willems admitted.
“It has been chaotic for me. Everything is OK. I have trained normally so everything is OK.”
“I can play anywhere down the left-hand side. Now Matt Ritchie is injured so I can show that I can play there.”
The 25-year-old joined Newcastle on loan from the German club towards the end of the window, with the deal including an option to buy at the end of the season.
After a year that was filled with substitute appearances for Frankfurt, Willems surely wouldn’t have been expecting to be thrown into the deep end so early at St James’ Park. It was in fortuitous circumstances with Ritchie’s injury, but after 16 outings off the bench in the previous campaign, his start to life in the North East has been successful. Defensively, the Dutchman has averaged two tackles per game at wing-back according to WhoScored, the same amount as Ritchie. Willems did admit he can play anywhere down the left-hand side, and averages a single key pass and shot every couple of appearances [WhoScored], stats that will no doubt impress Bruce. After the so-called chaotic start to life in England, Willems will look to use the international break as a chance to rest up and recharge his batteries ahead of the return of the Premier League in an effort to cement his spot in the side whether Ritchie is fit or not.