Newcastle are determined to ‘test Arsenal’s resolve’ when it comes to holding on to Joe Willock this season.

Joe Willock of Newcastle United celebrates with Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce after scoring in added time to level the score at 1-1 ActionPlus David Blunsden
Joe Willock of Newcastle United celebrates with Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce after scoring in added time to level the score at 1-1 ActionPlus David Blunsde

Joe Willock’s loan spell with Newcastle during the second half of the season has been undoubtedly Arsenal’s best loan spell of the campaign.

Six goals in his last six Premier League games made him the youngest player to achieve that feat in the division and, as a result, the Magpies would quite like to hold on to the midfielder.

Arsenal seemed set to sell him him, much to the annoyance of a large section of the fanbase, but speaking before the final league game of the season, Mikel Arteta made it clear that Willock’s future is at Arsenal.

“I am really happy that things have gone so well because of the potential that he has,” Arteta said.

Newcastle United's Joe Willock celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Saturday April 24, 2021. Copyright: Clive Brunskill
Newcastle United’s Joe Willock celebrates scoring his side’s first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Saturday April 24, 2021. Copyright: Clive Brunskill

“I think it was great for him to go away and have a different experience, he has grabbed that opportunity in a really positive and remarkable way and he will come back to us, we will have a conversation with him and plan the next years for him.

“He got the responsibility and the test of going to Newcastle to help them get where they want to be. I spoke with the coaching staff there and they are extremely happy because he was a key part of contributing to get the objectives that they had. That’s a real positive for him.

“For sure [he will come back in the summer] because he’s got a contract and that’s going to be here. That’s for sure.”

But Newcastle are not giving up on signing the 21-year-old just yet.

Steve Bruce on Joe Willock

“We always said that it was a double-edged sword, and we have to respect that he is Arsenal’s player,” Steve Bruce said in his press conference.

“We’ll see over the summer whether we can test their resolve, but as I said from day one, I’d like to thank Mikel and Steve Round on the football side of it because they were instrumental in getting me him and letting us borrow him for a few months.

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