According to the Sunday Mirror via the Chronicle, Arsenal would be willing to part ways with Joe Willock if the right price comes around the corner, the price is touted to be in the region ‘Upwards of £20m’. The report also states that the Gunners would also be willing to let him leave on loan/ loan-with-an-option-to-buy again in the summer to another Premier League club.
The 21-year-old joined the Magpies on loan from his boyhood club Arsenal in January where he was short of first team opportunities, since then he's been a revelation at Tyneside scoring 2 goals in 8 appearances, he was dropped for the Spurs but responded to it in some fashion, scoring after coming as a sub and giving his manager and team a big sigh of relieve.
In terms of his defensive contributions, he’s been excellent he’s producing on an average 4.1 tackles & Interceptions per game which is highest in the team, it shows a lot of the output he puts in to break the opposition Build-up play. He is completing 1.5 successful dribbles a game which shows his ball carrying attributes from the midfield. He is also good at making those late “Beckham runs” into the box, which helps wingers to have a focal point around when reverting back from the Byline.
While his passing numbers are not excellent at average 18 passes-a-game but we don’t need that because we have a bit of immobile creative midfielder in Shelvey whose main purpose of being in the Starting XI is spraying passes and to dictate midfield( and Obviously he frustrates many at times)
Since Diame left, We fans have been scrounging for a Box-to-Box Midfielder because we know the attributes of Hayden and Shelvey leave a lot to be desired for. Shelvey can be an excellent creative talent on his day( Even Though those days only come in 2 seasonal games against West Ham) and Hayden is very sound defensively and is a leader in midfield but his brain works more to create a mess and destruct opposition play and is not good going forward.
Joe Willock matches the profile, a box-to-box dynamic midfielder, good at carrying the ball and finish off the scraps laid on the edge of the box. He also fits the bill in the region of £20-30m region. He’s 21-year-old only so has a lot of years to develop into a Sissoko (Although there’s little chance to improve under stewardship of Brucey!) Another years loan with an option to buy would be a peach of a deal which allows us to monitor his consistency over a full season.
Also there’s a good chance there will be a Fire-sale at Arsenal following poor performances in the league. Fringe players such as Maitland-Niles or Willock might be moved on from but the ball is pretty much in the Arsenal’s court with 2-years left on his contract at the Emirates.
But I have a very bad gut feeling that just like Valentino Lazaro, Jetro Willems and Kenedy Ashley and Bruce are just playing tricks with him to bail themselves out of current mess. Anyways, the boy is very talented and I would love to have him, he’s put everything out for the Black-and-White strips, a proper Magpie. Also one thing I observed in the Interviews he seems open to shifting permanently with him learning the Geordie Accent.