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.

Newcastle's English midfielder Joe Willock (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team's first goal during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Southampton at St James' Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on February 6, 2021. (Photo by Owen Humphreys / POOL / AFP)
Newcastle’s English midfielder Joe Willock (C) celebrates with teammates after scoring his team’s first goal during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Southampton at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on February 6, 2021. (Photo by Owen Humphreys / POOL / AFP)

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:

https://twitter.com/btsportfootball/status/1358073615053447168

https://twitter.com/MBradley70/status/1358091349363425280

https://twitter.com/AustriaMags/status/1358094027808251904

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.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.