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Transfer news: Steve Bruce still wants Joe Willock with price tag revealed

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Despite uncertainty over his future, Steve Bruce wants to sign Newcastle United’s loan star Joe Willock on a permanent basis this summer. 

What’s the latest Newcastle United transfer news?

Within The Daily Telegraph‘s piece about Bruce’s future not being fully clear at the moment, Luke Edwards reveals that the 60-year-old is keen to sign Willock long-term. Indeed, parent club Arsenal are believed to value the 21-year-old at £20m which, while expensive in a Newcastle context, doesn’t actually seem unreasonable.

After all, as Edwards alludes to in his article, Willock comes with an obvious sell-on value given his age which must surely appeal to the powers that be on Tyneside, particularly given his stunning form since joining the club in February.

How many goals has Joe Willock scored this season?

Five goals in eleven games for the club have made his stay a resounding success and, were it not for him, it’s scary to think where Newcastle might be at the moment. Indeed, his goals don’t even tell the whole story as FBREF data shows how important Willock is to Newcastle’s overall play.

In a defensive sense, no player averages as many tackles and interceptions per game as the England U21 international (6.08) or as many blocks over the same period (2.66). His 12.3 pressing actions in the middle third is bettered by only Matty Longstaff (who has played much fewer times) and no one averages as many in the defensive third either, speaking to Willock’s energy to get up and down the pitch when Newcastle don’t have the ball.

Attacking wise, Willock ranks within the top seven Newcastle players for progressive carries per game (3.29), as well as in the top five for carries into the opposition penalty area, showing just how important he is going both forwards and back.

What has Steve Bruce said about Willock?

Speaking to reporters (via The Guardian) last month, Bruce did make his feelings on the loan star clear.

“He’s got a big future,” he said.

“He’s the right type, the right profile – you’d love to build a team around a young player like Joe. If there’s a chance to bring him here next season, I’d love to get it done.”

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