Jose Willock got his life as a Newcastle United player off to the best possible start when he scored after 16 minutes on his debut.
Steve Bruce named Joe Willock in his starting lineup at the first opportunity and the Arsenal youngster didn’t let him down.
Willock opened the scoring in what was an incredibly entertaining game that saw five goals and a red card with Newcastle running out eventual 3-2 winners, despite having Jeff Hendrick sent off by Arsenal fan favourite Craig Pawson.
Willock’s goal was the fastest by a player on his debut for the Magpies in the Premier League era.
Willock also became the second youngest to score on his debut for them. The youngest was Matty Longstaff against Manchester United last season.
After the game, Willock also revealed that he had planned the goal with Allan Saint-Maximin.
Looking through Twitter to get a feel for how Newcastle fans were receiving Willock, it was clear he is becoming an instant success:
JOE WILLOCK ON HIS DEBUT!!!!!!!
GET IN!!!!! pic.twitter.com/EehVZdEGqy
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) February 6, 2021
1 – Only Matt Longstaff (19y & 199d) has scored on his Premier League debut for Newcastle at a younger age than Joe Willock (21y & 170d), with his two Premier League goals to date both coming against Southampton. Arrival. #NEWSOU pic.twitter.com/yHDA80Gqz5
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 6, 2021
joe willock looking very good – glad he’ll play week in week out
— dhruv (@Aubaminator) February 6, 2021
Sometimes I feel for Almiron man
He works so hard off the ball and has to carry the ball a good 40-60 meters and then hold it to wait for support. The way Newcastle set up requires midfielders to make late runs into the box and that’s exactly what Joe Willock offers.
— The Gooner (@_fil21) February 6, 2021
— Kris Avery (@Kris_Avery33) February 6, 2021
Joe willock is fantastic
— Josh Cowell (@CowellJosh) February 6, 2021
Joe Willock is so much better than the options we have for progressing the ball and making late runs into the box
— Theö (@Theo_mwangi) February 6, 2021
Willock was great business, Almiron flying & Saint Maximin was very well managed for the last few weeks not risking him for 90.
— Neil Conlon (@classredefined) February 6, 2021
Willock, i wish i could say this is a one off but this has been one of our better days m8.. good luck!
— Rachael (@Rachael_RLETC1) February 6, 2021
Willock is phenomenal for us today. What a player.
— Mac (@2NarMe) February 6, 2021
Joe Willock Joining Newcastle
— Gianfranco Shola (@SholaGianfranco) February 6, 2021
Joe Willock ratings vs Southampton
Willock finished the game with a Fotmob rating of 8.3.
His goal, however, was his only shot and he completed only 60% of his 10 passes. Contained in those, however, were two key passes and his numbers were boosted by winning seven duels from 11, completing two-thirds of his dribbles and winning four of his five tackles while also making six recoveries and two interceptions.