Steve Bruce says Joe Willock is available to face Southampton on Saturday, and they’re pleased with what they’ve seen from the loanee so far.

Joe Willock in training with Newcastle United (Photo via NUFC on Twitter)
Joe Willock in training with Newcastle United (Photo via NUFC on Twitter)

Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock joined Newcastle United on loan on January’s transfer deadline day, admitting he’s looking to play more games and establish himself in the Premier League.

Ideally, he won’t have to wait too long to get into the starting lineup with Newcastle, and Steve Bruce confirmed the player is fit to feature at the weekend. However, he did add that there will be a settling-in period.

“He’s fine and available,” Bruce said. “He’s trained two sessions with us and is getting used to the new environment. Of course, it’ll take a little bit of time to settle but we’re very pleased with what we’ve seen.”

According to reports, there’s no option to buy in Willock’s loan contract with Newcastle, though there are rumours that the deal may include an option to extend the loan by a further year.

This option would only be activated if all three parties agree to it – Arsenal, Willock, and Newcastle. So there’s no risk of the club stealing Willock away from North London for 12 months if Mikel Arteta does want him back.

It just means all the pieces are in place for another loan if things go well over the next six months. For now, all eyes turn to the pitch to see how the 21-year-old performs when he gets his debut.