Arsenal’s Joe Willock has completed a half-season loan move to Premier League relegation candidates Newcastle United.
The midfielder was courted by Steve Bruce’s side ahead of yesterday’s 11 pm transfer deadline with the Geordies keen on bolstering their midfield.
Willock saw his game time dramatically reduce after the emergence of Emile Smith Rowe and the signing of Martin Odegaard from Real Madrid.
Given how well he broke through into the first-team last season, the England youth international has stalled massively this campaign with starts hard to come by in the Premier League.
The more worrying part is how little Willock has started in the top-flight despite Arsenal’s struggles in the first half of the campaign. Mikel Arteta’s side lost eight of their opening 14 league games up until late-December, however, despite these struggles and his sensational Europa League form, the 20-year-old has started just a solitary game in the top-flight, falling behind the likes of Granit Xhaka, Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey in the pecking order.
His quality shines through when the youngster has featured since his breakthrough in the FA Cup tie away to Blackpool. Willock possesses a unique ability to score goals from midfield and with Arsenal lacking that, a good loan spell away from north London at another Premier League club can help enhance his reputation in the eyes of Arteta ahead of next season.
Willock’s progression prior to this season had drawn comparisons to the likes of Aaron Ramsey, however, with poor performances in his last start for the club, there are beginning to be some doubts. There’s a chance to correct the wrongs of the first half of the campaign as the ‘mind-blowing’ ace looks to start life in the top-flight.