Joe Willock could be available for a transfer over the course of the summer.
What’s the story?
According to The Sun, Arsenal are planning for a major overhaul of their playing squad this summer in order to raise funds and Willock could be one of the individuals shown the exit door.
When the midfielder joined Newcastle United on loan earlier this month, The Telegraph revealed there wasn’t an option to buy him on a permanent deal included in that agreement. Still, it does look as if the 21-year-old could be let go by his parent club and surely that will at least interest The Magpies, providing they remain in the Premier League.
Should Newcastle sign him permanently?
It’s early days of course but the initial signs suggest they should certainly consider it.
Already, he’s had a significant impact. According to WhoScored, only two players – Callum Wilson and Jonjo Shelvey average more shots per game than him – while FBRef note he was Newcastle’s most progressive ball carrier against Southampton.
Considering the lack of drive from midfield has been a problem this season, he does appear to be someone capable of providing a solution to that issue. Indeed, his age also means he boasts resale value too, something likely to appeal to the powers that be at St. James’ Park.
Clearly, Willock has had an impact already, so the idea of keeping him long-term would make sense. If they can use this time to bed him in, signing him in the summer would be a far less risky move than trying to bring a new player totally unfamiliar with the surroundings to the club.
Still, you do feel any deal would rest on Newcastle staying in the Premier League. If they were to drop into the Championship, it would surely be difficult to either pay what Arsenal could be looking for (he’s rated at £14.4m by Transfermarkt) or tempt him into the second division.