Steve Bruce has confirmed that Newcastle United want to sign Joe Willock on a permanent deal, assuming Arsenal are open to that possibility.

Newcastle United midfielder Joe Willock, on loan from Arsenal, during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St. James' Park, Newcastle, England on 12 March 2021. Copyright: Simon Davies
Newcastle United midfielder Joe Willock, on loan from Arsenal, during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Aston Villa at St. James’ Park, Newcastle, England on 12 March 2021. Copyright: Simon Davies

It’s certainly nothing new to hear that Steve Bruce is telling the media he wants Joe Willock back next season. We’ve already heard that on a number of occasions over the last month or so.

But Bruce has confirmed this week that it’s not just that they want to bring the Arsenal midfielder back, they want him on a permanent deal.

“All of us would love to [make it permanent],” Bruce said (via Standard). “He’s 21, a midfield player and he’s got five goals since the turn of the year, so of course we want him – but we have to respect that he’s Arsenal’s player.

“I’m sure Arsenal will have big discussions this summer, but if there’s a possibility that we can bring him back we’d love to do it.”

As Bruce mentions, Willock has scored five goals in 11 games (eight starts) since joining Newcastle United on loan. More than that, he scored four of those goals against teams that were in the top-six of the Premier League when Newcastle faced them.

Equalisers against Spurs and Liverpool, a winner against West Ham, and the opening goals against Southampton and Leicester City, all of his goals have meant something. He’s not just padding his stats late on.

The good news for Arsenal is that this puts the club in a strong position to get a fair price for Willock – should they decide to sell. He’s young, he’s homegrown, and he’s performing against Premier League teams near the top of the table. He shouldn’t go cheap.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.