The 25-year-old defender is currently at the Magpies on loan for the season from German side Eintracht Frankfurt but Bild previously reported that the loan agreement between the two sides had a £10million (€11million) purchase clause.
This means the Magpies could purchase Willems without too much hassle if they’re willing to pay £10million, and Darren Bent seemed convinced that Steve Bruce’s side should take up their option on the defender.
Bent pointed out that he thought Willems had done really well, he slotted into the team and that with momentum building and a good rapport building amongst Bruce’s squad, then it’d be better to keep the 25-year-old on board rather than break up the team anytime soon.
The Sky Sports pundit then pointed out £10million wasn’t a lot of money to pay in the grand scheme of things especially if it kept the club heading in the right direction.
“I really like what Steve Bruce is doing there, I like how he’s got them all playing together now. You can tell they’re all playing for each other. For me, I’d sign him.
“You might think: ‘Oh I don’t really want to spend £10million on him,’ but to keep that team together, keep that momentum going, that will make him happy, make his teammates happy, make the fans happy because they like him. Don’t break it up and think: ‘I can get better,’ go with what you’ve got now.
“£10million in the grand scheme of things is not a lot of money and he’s playing way, keep the thing rolling, keep it together.”
While Newcastle don’t have to rush into making a decision on Willems as he’s on a season-long loan, Bent’s remarks do show how the Magpies could play as blinder by acquiring the defender permanently, as his remarks hint at the 25-year-old being good value for money.
This is hard to disagree with based on how he has fared on loan.
Willems has averaged an impressive 2.6 tackles and 1.7 clearances per game across his nine league outings to be a rock at the back for the Magpies, as per WhoScored, and has shown he can contribute going forward by impressively completing 1.1 dribbles, 1.1 key passes and 1.2 shots per game. (Source: WhoScored)
The 25-year-old has racked up one goal and two assists, which he’ll likely add to based on how lively he is in games, and has proven that he is good enough for the Premier League as well as shown beyond a doubt that he can contribute at both ends of the pitch.
Given that Willems is useful at both ends and is Premier League-proven now, something that boosts a player’s value, paying £10million for him could be a genius move for the Magpies even if for some reason Bruce doesn’t see him in his long-term plans.
After all, just like Bent pointed out £10million isn’t a lot, and based on his performances his value has no doubt already received a boost this season, which means the club could easily make a profit in the future on him.
This is especially the case when you consider he is 25-years-old and only just entering his peak years.