Date: 10th October 2019 at 3:16pm
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OPINION

There’s no disputing the fact that this has been an immensely difficult season thus far for Newcastle United. From the summer into the campaign itself, drama has dogged this team.

However, there have been a few shining lights in the play of some Magpies stars. Fabian Schar has been terrific, while young Matty Longstaff’s breakthrough against Manchester United last weekend was a sight for sore eyes.

One man who has really stood out in a black and white shirt, though, has been summer loan signing Jetro Willems. And The Chronicle journalist Mark Douglas certainly feels he should be signed on a permanent basis next summer.

“Absolutely,” he said when asked the question in a Chronicle Q & A. “There’s a permanent deal already agreed if he continues to impress and it’s less than £6million so it looks like good value to me.”

Douglas is absolutely spot on, here. Less than £6million for someone who has proved a blinding hit? Sounds like a good deal to me. The good thing, too, is that Willems is still just 25 years of age, despite being a hugely experienced player.

He really has shored up the Magpies’ left hand side since utility man Matt Ritchie went down injured against Leicester City in late August.

As per WhoScored.com, the Dutchman has is currently averaging 1.8 tackles and a clearance per game, while only being dribbled past an average of 0.8 times per outing. Those are solid numbers which show that the tenacious 25-year-old isn’t merely an attacking threat.

But an attacking threat he is too, make no mistake about that. The highlight of his offensive forays has been his wonder goal against Liverpool, of course, but he has brought fresh dynamism to Newcastle’s left flank in general.

He is averaging one key pass and one dribble per game from the left wing back position, while he’s grabbed an assist to go with his goal.

With all that said, and given how well Willems has performed to date, Steve Bruce and co. would be crazy not to get him on a bargain permanent deal next summer.