Willock is believed to be a target for Newcastle this summer after a successful loan stint at the back end of the 2020/21 campaign, during which he scored eight goals in fourteen games.
However, despite the club’s apparent interest, there isn’t thought to have been a formal bid yet.
Could Newcastle afford Willock?
It does seem unlikely without being creative.
The 21-year-old is said to have a price tag of around £20m which, according to Football Insider, would be over double the transfer kitty Mike Ashley is likely to afford Steve Bruce this summer. Unless Newcastle can tempt Arsenal into another loan, affording a standard permanent deal looks difficult.
Still, the notion of including Freddie Woodman in part-exchange was recently raised by The Chronicle and, as gutting as it’d be to see him go, it’s not as if the club are light in the goalkeeping department.
How well did Willock play for Newcastle last season?
Obviously, his excellent goal record made him an absolutely crucial player and it’s scary to imagine where Newcastle may have ended without Willock, given three of his eight goals were game-winning stikes.
Aside from that, he also averaged the second-highest number of tackles (1.8 via WhoScored) so was clearly making an impact both attacking-wise and defensively.
What did Steve Bruce say about Willock?
Speaking back in April, Bruce said Willock was the type of player he’d like to build the club around.
“He’s got a big future. He’s the right type, the right profile – you’d love to build a team around a young player like Joe,” he said (via The Guardian).
“If there’s a chance to bring him here next season, I’d love to get it done.”