What did he say?
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Aston Villa striker claimed he didn’t believe Willock would want to return to St. James’ Park next season and would rather try and play his way into the team at parent club Arsenal.
Indeed, the 21-year-old only penned a long-term deal in North London back in 2019 and, while this has been a difficult season for the Emirates giants, it’s easy to see their appeal. A product of their academy, the likes of Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe are enjoying sustained runs in the first-team under Mikel Arteta and they could still qualify for the Champions League next season were they to win the Europa League.
“I don’t think he’ll go back to Newcastle permanently. I think he’ll want to go to Arsenal and fight for his position,” he said.
“I don’t think he will start games for Newcastle. I don’t think Steve Bruce will change it. He’s come on and scored so many important goals.
“If I’m a manager I’m thinking ‘Bring him on next game at the same time, 20 minutes to go, he’ll probably score another important goal.’
Will Willock stay?
It is, of course, hard to say at this stage.
However, Football Insider have recently claimed themselves that the midfielder has told friends he’s willing to stay on Tyneside after hitting headlines with his goalscoring form. The Guardian also recently suggested Steve Bruce believed a deal could be done for around £20m too, so there does look to be an option to at least try and extend his stay. If they can do it, Newcastle would be mad to attempt to bring him to the club, particularly given this is a young English player who would potentially boast quite a lot of potential sell-on value.