Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta appeared to rule out an exit for Joe Willock yesterday, but The Telegraph claim that he’s pretty close to returning to Newcastle United on loan now.
The 21-year-old moved to Tyneside on a six-month loan deal back in January. He became a huge hit at Newcastle, scoring in seven consecutive games to set a new Premier League record.
Magpies boss Steve Bruce has been very vocal about his desire to bring Willock back to St James’ Park, but Arteta boldly claimed less than 24 hours ago that the Englishman is a part of his plans for the new season.
Arteta said last night: “Joe is part of our plans, he’s our player and in the time that he is here we will try to make the most out of him. He had a great experience on loan. He was, I think, one of the most important players for their survival.”
That seemed like bad news for Newcastle fans, who have fallen in love with Willock. However, it looks like things have changed over the last 24 hours and the midfielder could well return to St James’ Park in the very near future.
Newcastle close to re-signing Arsenal ace Joe Willock on loan
The report claims that talks are ongoing between Arsenal and the Magpies and Bruce is confident that he can sign Willock again this summer.
The Englishman returned to pre-season training last week and he reportedly had a chat with Arteta about his future. The report claims that he made it clear that he wants first-team football next season, and that he would love to return to Newcastle on loan.
Arsenal are set to grant Willock his wish, but is that really the right decision? Only time will tell.
The Insider’s View:
Arsenal are set to announce the signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga and we are reportedly on the market looking for two new midfielders as well – a number eight and a 10.
If Edu can get those deals over the line, Willock’s chances of regular game time will certainly take a hit, especially as there will be no European football at the Emirates next season. That opens the door for another loan move and it wouldn’t be a bad idea by any means.
However, Willock, labelled as ‘remarkable‘ by Arteta, has just two years left on his Arsenal contract. The Gunners simply cannot send him out on loan without tying him down to a long-term deal first, but whether the midfielder will agree to put pen to paper when there’s no guarantee of a future at the Emirates remains to be seen.